Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Policeman (Science Fiction Novel)

Saying makes things so. What occurs is of no importance. What is important is perception. It is belief, not the act, that creates resonance patterns. You don’t have the right attitude. I try to make happy policemen. I don’t know why you insist on making unhappy ones.
Happy Policeman by Patricia Anthony is quirky and philosophical. This 1994 novel combines elements of science fiction, mystery, New Age thought, and odd small town characters.

Briefly, Dewitt, the policeman of a small Texas community, finds the Mary Kay lady murdered in an unusual way. Everyone is a suspect: the space aliens, who drive UPS trucks and furnish the town with all its needs; his own wife, an Avon Lady and a rival; the ex-husband; the doctor, an alcoholic; the mayor, a notorious pothead; the banker; the fundamentalist minister. The town has been isolated from the rest of the world since Bomb Day—when Reagan dropped the atomic bomb—six years earlier. The town has no idea what is on the other side of the line that the aliens have set up. By the end of the novel, the answer is revealed.  

Happy Policeman was a nice change of pace for me after I had read so many serious novels. Most of the time, I found it fun. At moments, I found it thought provoking: “Am I being ‘a happy policeman or an unhappy policeman?’” Towards the end, it raised questions of morality and justice. This is not your typical science fiction fare, and I was glad of it.

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