Resistance is Futile

Resistance is Futile by Jenny ColganWhen Dr Connie MacAdair is offered a post-doc fellowship at Cambridge University promising two years of uninterrupted time to focus solely on her own research, sans teaching, she simply cannot turn it down. It almost seems too good to be true and, as it turns out, it is. Once she arrives, she realises that she has been placed in a bunker-like compound with five other mathematicians and, once she has signed a sinister confidentiality agreement, given a long sequence of numbers they’re expected to search for any viable patterns. To begin with, it simply seems like lengthy and tedious work, but eventually they figure out that, whatever the sequence says, it seems to originate from somewhere in outer space. Earth has come into contact with extraterrestrial life and it’s up to them to figure out what the message holds.

Resistance Is Futile is classic chick-lit meeting a first contact SF story. Naturally it’s a love story, and, naturally, the love interest is alien. In that regard, Resistance Is Futile holds some similarities to Stephenie Meyers The Host (is truly the only sexy alien the fluid, silver-sheened water nymph alien?) but while Meyer spins a postapocalyptic alien invasion story, Colgan instead tells the story of a nerdy maths girl who happens to end up in the midst of an intergalactic revolutionary conflict. In many ways, it is a great, fun and humourous novel, but ultimately, it’s just not my cup of tea, I have to admit. There are many individual things about the book I really liked, but the love story never really managed to get me particularly engaged and the overall plot come across a bit clunky, in my opinion.

The Host by Stephenie Meyers

While I thoroughly enjoyed the humorous tone of the novel, I think it suffers from a problem that commonly surfaces when non-SFF authors turn to the genres of speculative fiction: while the texts are not necessarily bad or uninteresting, it often tells a story and deals with themes and tropes that previously has been more successfully explored elsewhere. Instead of adding anything new to the conversation, it simply rehashes familiar ideas in often uninspiring ways. I wouldn't say it's a point directly against Colgan's novel, however - as I’ve said, I'm really not much of a chick-lit reader and as a result this novel simply didn't work for me. However, I'm certain that for anyone who does enjoy chick lit, nerdiness, maths, and/or aliens, Resistance Is Futile is a perfect fit.