Good News from Outer Space

by John Kessel

A book of my two homes!

September 2000

Sure, this is a science fiction story of the end of the world, a genre I generally detest (but not as much as I detest =post=-apocalyptic novels) - but I couldn't resist. This novel is set in the two places I know best -- New York City and Raleigh, North Carolina. New York is more of an amorphous mass to deal with, location-wise, but Kessel gets Raleigh spot-on.

The camp awaiting Armageddon on Fayetteville Street Mall brings back memories of days when I was a student at North Carolina State University, strolling through the Brickyard, being yelled at by Rev. Birdsong, one of the many brickyard preachers. You see, it was immoral for me, lustful temptress, to wear shorts around such impressionable young men. Let's ignore for the moment that my shorts stopped at my knees. I found it amusing to think of a fire-and-brimstone preacher denouncing the godless people on Hillsborough, given that of all the UNC system schools, NCSU must be the most conservative (it is, after all, an engineering and agriculture school).

But I digress.

This is somewhat of a comic novel, and the characters really aren't fully-fleshed human beings. But this is a very fun read -- a very strange virus, a confusion (for me, at least) of identity, and some good news from... well, you know the title. Even if you're not from Raleigh, you'll have fun reading this book.

Back to Reviews page

Mary Pat Campbell, last updated 11 June 2001