Help I’m in an Alien Sitcom!
The Chem, immortal aliens, were the prisoners of eternity, gripped by the despair that immortality brought…strange dwellers in a timeless world that brought terror and suffering to the creatures they manipulated. Enter their world of infinite possibility and discover the fascinating secrets of a master race whose plaything is time…they have observed Earth for centuries, making full sensory movies of wars, natural disasters, and horrific human activities, all to relieve their boredom. When they finally became jaded by ordinary, run-of-the-mill tragedies, they found ways to create their own disasters, just to amuse themselves. These are the super beings who control men’s destinies and who derive their pleasure from the pain and torture they inflict on mere human beings. However, interfering with human activities was forbidden, and by the time Investigator Kelexel arrived to investigate, things were really getting out of hand…
“If I was put here on earth to enjoy myself, that’s what I intend to do. If I was put here at a whim of some super being who wants to watch me squirm – I’m not giving him the satisfaction!” 👽📺
This short novel by the fantastic Frank Herbert is a psychological and ethical look at immortality and mortality. It also contains questions surrounding free will, perfection, insanity vs sanity and philosophy. At the same time it’s an engrossing mystery story with several characters all trying to answer their own questions and succeed in their independent trials.
The Heaven Makers was so interesting and intense to read, but in the best ways. It has unrequited love, a murder trial, an alien investigator, an abducted woman, secrets upon secrets upon secrets with pretty much every character that you can’t help but find a comfortable spot to sit and finish the whole thing in a matter of hours to find out everything!
Being such a psychological trip the story can leave you feeling a bit jetlagged as you find yourself in an existential crisis you never thought you’d ever have. But, honestly sometimes those are the best kinds of stories. It is only a short novella, but I doubt it could be much better if Herbert had made it into a full length book. I would have liked to possibly see more from certain characters and the Chem society but those are minor things that I can easily forgive.
The ending for this story was such a surprise but I thoroughly enjoyed it even though it wasn’t the big climactic ending I was expecting. If anything the ending was better because it didn’t result in a massive action-packed, stressful play for power. The whole premise is really interesting and the balance between the Chem (alien) and human characters is uniquely done that can occasionally feel a tad confusing. I definitely recommend this one to all sci-fi lovers or readers of psychological or ethical works of fiction.
RATING – 4/5 stars
Author – Frank Herbert
Publisher – New English Library
ISBN – 9780450005176
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