Author Kathy Terstegen writes that a decade ago she met her co-author online and they decided to write a science-fiction/horror novel "that lays out reasons for sightings of gray aliens and the purpose for alien abductions." The result is a chilling yarn called "Gene Pool" ($2.99 in e-book format from the Kindle Store at amazon.com) by Steve Maass (of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin) and Katherine Terstegen.
Designed for reading on Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, "Gene Pool" can also be read on the iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, and PC's using the free Kindle apps from Amazon. (A Mac version is billed as "coming soon.") Since March 7-13 is "Read An E-Book Week" (ebookweek.com), it seems appropriate to feature a digital-only book from a local author.
The novel begins with a scenario reminiscent of the X-Files. Matt Greerson, 35 years old, is "chief investigative scientist of the Air Force's Extraterrestrial Task Force." He combines forces with Janice Whitfield, in her early thirties, who teaches astronomy in a California university. They investigate the growing number of abduction stories from solid citizens who swear to have seen gray aliens in flying saucers. But that's not the half of it.
Earth has become a battleground for two alien species, the gray aliens with the almond eyes and another race, stranger yet. The gray aliens have some kind of green gel that reduces human flesh to a brown stain; the other aliens do their killing the old fashioned way, by ripping throats.
The main action with Matt and Janice (including their growing interest in each other) is intercut with stories of secondary characters who encounter the extraordinary. "Standing over the dead man was a monster the likes of which Gordon had never seen even in his worst hallucinations. A hulking nightmare with a shark-like head and widely-spaced black eyes, the creature dripped blood from its clawed hand."
To add to the menace, the shark-faces can seemingly take the shape of humans, or animals, or just about anything. Their ships "resembled a giant spider with legs cradling a glowing egg." (Readers should know that descriptions of violence are restrained and there's not a swear word to be found.)
Why are humans being abducted and killed? The mystery slowly unravels to an unsettling and cautionary conclusion.