Imagine a world filled with primitive “center of the universe” thinking, where most people on the planet believe there is no other life in the universe. Imagine it’s a world with countless cultures and sub-cultures, where different groups of people clash together and where one group tries to rise to the top of the social structure. Sound remotely familiar? Now, imagine that YOU have been selected to be your planet’s ambassador to your world’s first extraterrestrial visitors. What would that be like?
This is the subject of the latest interview to make its way to our planet from Puki Horpocket, the latest in the literary series of Puki Horpocket Presents. After dazzling us with the mediocre absurdity of Roy Puki introduces us to someone who is, shockingly enough, even more, mundane than Roy. Enter Nimi Korble, a small-ish humanoid who has become a commercially and financially successful character onboard the Durangoni Space Station. Nimi started the FYFI (Find Your “F**K It”) self-help movement. However, Puki, being the intrepid investigative journalist that he is, sought to get to know Nimi and find out what brought him to these dizzying heights of success, and what sort of humble beginnings Nimi had come from. It is there that we learn of his first contact with an alien race, only it didn’t quite turn out the way anyone, least of all Nimi, expected.
Nimi is penned by science fiction author, and all-around escaped lunatic, Zachry Wheeler. He has created one of the most brilliant dystopian science fiction novels regarding vampires and out of that made some incredible statements about the nature of humanity. He also opened his head up so that people could peer into his deranged brain with his Max and the Multi-Verse series that, in my opinion, made him the heir-apparent to Douglas Adams. Now he has done something of a blending by penning this short story that has much of the irreverence seen in the Max books, but with more satirical bite than if George Carlin himself were a vampire. Nimi, despite being an alien himself, comes from a world where they have had no contact with any life forms from other worlds. As far as they know, they are the only sentient life forms alive, and they have the same social problems that any reader could identify as being here on our little blue marble of a planet. Wheeler points out the failings of Nimi’s planet once they learned that they were “not alone” in the universe, and it feels all too familiar to what might happen if we made the same discovery. Wheeler isn’t just trying to make a joke about first contact. As crazy as the narrative is when Nimi tells his story, he is doing what many great science fiction authors have done and that is holding up a mirror for us so that we can take a good and careful look at ourselves. He wants us to look deeply into our collective reflection, and then step back and make our own judgment.
Of course, Wheeler isn’t about to leave us with a short story that is merely pensive and reflective. This is part of the Puki Horpocket Presents series so there has to be something utterly maniacal, and Wheeler doesn’t disappoint. In yet another satirical stab at some of the warnings from the likes of Stephen Hawking, cautioning us that aliens from another world may not be the enlightened beings we hope, Wheeler delivers the most insane twist that can only end Nimi’s tale in complete chaos and catastrophe. Nimi’s life takes the most unexpected of turns as he ends up in a station filled with alien life. From there, Nimi forms a unique self-help group, which in a way is the final statement from Wheeler in this biting satire.
There are several authors whose work I will read immediately upon release. Again, Zachry Wheeler has cemented his place among those writers as someone whose books must be read as soon as possible, followed by taking several doses of Tylenol due to the crazed nature of his stories. Even as a short story, Nimi sets itself apart as a work of deranged brilliance, thus Nimi receives 5 out of 5 glam goddesses!
Numi: When First Contact Becomes Last Call is available on Amazon Prime for pre-order and is already available in paperback, and can also be ordered at Home | Zachry Wheeler .