The Book Plank asked me to write an essay for promotion of my newest novel GRUNT TRAITOR. They told me I could write about anything. I decided since I've been working on the Grunt Trilogy for awhile that I'd write about alien invasions, especially on the heels of reading Ernest Cline's brilliant Armada.
Here's how it begins:
There’s something at once terrifying and romantic about an invasion. One wrong move could mean the destruction of everything you know and love, but in the heat of battle, there are crystalline moments in which true humanity shines. Like many military authors, I often look to history for guidance on how to write the future. I’ve always looked at the Battle of Rorke’s Drift as the perfect sort of battle to represent an alien invasion. One hundred and fifty British soldiers in a remote outpost are beset by four thousand Zulu warriors. The odds seemed impossible, yet in the end the British won the day.
The early Michael Cain movie Zulu retells this story and stands as one of my favorite military movies of all time. There are moments in the film that resonate. In the face of overwhelming attack, the sergeant major lowly commanding his men to take it easy. Right when everything seems lost, several men channeling the ridiculous still complain about having to fight and would rather go on profile. The stoicism of Michael Cain’s character in the face of implacable odds.
There’s so much about this movie and story. But overall what it tells me is that an alien invasion story isn’t about the aliens. It’s about how people react to the aliens.
If you want to read the rest, you can find the essay here.
Oh, and if you have the time, check out Grunt Life and Grunt Traitor. You won't be disappointed.