My Teacher is an Alien: Sixth grade is just out of this world! Susan Simmons can tell that her new substitute teacher is really weird. But she doesn’t know how weird until she catches him peeling off his face — and realizes that “Mr. Smith” is really an alien!
At first no one will believe her except Peter Thompson, the class brain. When Peter and Susan discover Mr. Smith’s horrible plans for their classmates, they know they have to act fast. Only they can get rid of their extraterrestrial visitor — and save the rest of the sixth-grade class from a fate worse than math tests! – Goodreads
My Teacher is an Alien Review
My Teacher is an Alien was first published in 1989. When I was little I had no interest in reading these type of books, so My Teacher is an Alien flew completely under my radar. However, from what I’ve read on Goodreads, apparently this is the book that got a lot of kids interested in reading science fiction. After reading it, I can see why. My Teacher is an Alien is one of those books that retains a timeless appeal. There is basically no technology mentioned in the book, so you don’t really notice anything feeling ‘dated’. (Except for the fact that kids were actually playing together on the playground instead of texting.)
My Teacher is an Alien is one of those books that retains a timeless appeal. There is basically no technology mentioned in the book, so you don’t really notice anything feeling ‘dated’. (Except for the fact that kids were actually playing together on the playground instead of texting.) It’s written so that children can easily identify the children mentioned with their real world equivalents. The bully. The goody-two-shoes. The nerd that’s always reading. (I resemble that remark!)
Let’s face it, My Teacher is an Alien is always going to be relatable. Because, whether its teacher or coworker, there’s always “aliens” amongst us. Those people that act so different you find yourself giving them the side-eye and wondering what they look like when they take off their mask. It’s a look in their eyes, the way they phrase things, or their unusual distaste of wonderful things (like reading!) that set them apart. So, yes, imagining them going home, taking off their mask and exposing the lizard men underneath is ultimately entertaining. I mean, there’s at least one congressman I’m positive comes from a frog world!
The story in My Teacher is an Alien is told through the eyes of a sixth-grade girl named Susan. However, Susan being a girl basically never enters into the equation, and I really liked that. (In fact, when I was reading it with my child, she stopped me halfway through a chapter and said, “Susan is a girl’s name, right?”) Boy or girl, anyone who picks up this book is going to be able to enjoy it. Definitely an entertaining read, and still worth picking up years after it was published.
Title: My Teacher is an Alien | Series: My Teacher is an Alien #1 | Author: Bruce Coville | Publisher: Aladdin | Orig. Published: 1989 | Pages: 128 | ISBN13: 9781439112281 | Genre: Kids Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Kindle Unlimited | Purchase on Amazon
Horrors! 365 Scary Stories – A Full Year of Horror
03/18/2017 – 03/24/2017
The horror short-short isn’t easy to master, but more than 100 of the genre’s critically acclaimed authors & hottest up-&-comers have taken a stab at it in Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, an anthology that contains a short tale for every day of the year. Steve Rasnic Tem, Wm F. Nolan, Tom Piccirilli, Yvonne Navarro, Peter Atkins, Brian Hodge, Martin Mundt & 166 others give you short, sharp shocks.
This is Horror is a sampling of Horror Movies, Art, Fiction, and Gaming, and more. A little bit of everything to make the horror hound in you feel all fuzzy and warm. Or tingle with anticipation. Whatever works for you. Hope you enjoy!
This is Horror’s Quote to Consider
“He who fears being watched from the abyss will be unable to look into it himself. The truth can only be obtained by pressing forward.” ― Sadamu Yamashita, Silent Hill 2: The Novel
Horror Movie Suggestion of the Week:
Tucker & Dale vs Evil: I have an odd sense of humor. I’m either laughing my butt off at stuff like funny fart stories on Reddit, or I’m cracking up over British humor. If something is supposed to be comedy but doesn’t fall into either of those categories, then I’m probably going to be bored silly. So, I’m not exactly sure why Tucker & Dale vs Evil makes me giggle as much as it does. (I think it’s partly an affection for Alan Tudyk (whom I will forever know as Wash Hoburn.) Regardless of the reason, Tucker & Dale vs Evil is one of those rare movies that has the ability to send me into gigglefits. My cohost, Graciekat, loves it too.
Synopsis: Affable hillbillies Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are mistaken for murderers by a group of preppy college students.
(Okay, so let’s be honest here. Yes, I’m psyched to see this tomorrow, and no I don’t expect it to be anything more than a rehash of every single space-horror type movie out there. I don’t care. SPACE HORROR!)
Still in Theatres (and I need someone to review it for me!)
Synopsis: In a twisted social experiment, 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
This is kind of continuing with silly theme I started by recommending Tucker & Dale vs Evil. Sorry for not bringing the creepy this time! (Confession: I’ve never seen this film.)
Notable Horror Events/History
We’ll post interesting stuff here as we come across it. Let us know if we missed something juicy and we’ll add it in! This first post is just a place-holder/more to come than anything.
3/15: The Fly, Dead Wringers, etc
3/24: Mama, Crimson PeakMovie Releases
3/15/2002 – Resident Evil (1) was released.
3/17/2000 – Final Destination (1) was released.
New Horror Releases
Aletheia Synopsis: The remote lake town of Little Ridge has a memory problem. There is an island out on the lake somewhere, but no one can remember exactly where it is—and what it has to do with the disappearance of the eccentric Frankie Harpur, or the seven-year- old son of a local artist, Lee Montour.
When Thettie Harpur brings her family home to find Frankie, she faces opposition from all sides—including from the clan leader himself, the psychotic Doc Murphy. But Lee, her one true ally in grief and love, might not be enough to help take on her worst nightmare. The lake itself. Because deep below the island, something monstrous lies waiting for Thettie, and it knows her name. – Goodreads
Nailbiters Synopsis: A man seeks revenge for his dead wife’s murder, while another finds himself being tortured for information he doesn’t have. One woman’s job at a check-out is starting to take its toll, while another imagines all kinds of horrors during a blackout. An urban nightmare called Graffitiland is the location for a deadly hunt, but a thief finds more than he bargains for upon breaking and entering one particular property. And as a stalker tracks his latest victim, an altogether different kind of serial killer called The Gemini is rising… Here in these pages you’ll find gathered together all the tales of crime and psychological terror from award-winning and bestselling author and editor Paul B. Kane (Beyond Rue Morgue, Hooded Man, Sherlock Holmes and the Servants of Hell), plus three new novelettes – including a serial killer reworking of Cinderella. – Goodreads
Behold the Void Synopsis:BEHOLD THE VOID is nine stories of terror that huddle in the dark space between cosmic horror and the modern weird, between old-school hard-edged horror of the 1980’s and the stylistic prose of today’s literary giants.
Revenge takes a monstrous form when a scorned lover acquires bizarre, telekinetic powers; a community swimming pool on a bright summer day becomes the setting for a ghastly nightmare of sacrifice and loss; a thief does bloody battle with a Yakuza for the soul of a horse god; a priest must solve the mystery of a century-old serial killer or risk the apocalypse; a newly-married couple discover that relationships-gone-bad can be poisonous, and deadly; a child is forced to make an ultimate choice between letting his parents die or living with the monsters they may become; and when a boy is trapped on a beach at low tide, he must face death in many forms – that of the rising water coming to consume him and the ghost of his dead mother who wants him back, reaching for him with dark, longing arms…Goodreads
Graciekat has prepared a fun list for this section. If you’re a zombie movie lover, you’ve probably seen most of these movies, but there might be some of the earlier ones that you haven’t. That’s right – braiiiiiiiiiiiiinnns again! This whole list is comprised of zombie movies, one from each decade! Enjoy! (The links go to IMDB.)
F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.
To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.
The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.
Tens of millions of people around the world are dead. Half of China is a nuclear wasteland. Mysterious flesh-eating spiders are marching through Los Angeles, Oslo, Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, and countless other cities. According to scientist Melanie Gruyer, however, the spider situation seems to be looking up. Yet in Japan, a giant, truck-sized, glowing egg sack gives a shocking preview of what is to come, even as survivors in Los Angeles panic and break the quarantine zone. Out in the desert, survivalists Gordo and Shotgun are trying to invent a spider super weapon, but it’s not clear if it’s too late, because President Stephanie Pilgrim has been forced to enact the plan of last resort: The Spanish Protocol. America, you are on your own. – Goodreads
As some of you might be aware, every other month we’ve been holding a science fiction book club called “Dare to Discuss”. Its been an awesome thing, especially as we get more participation, because the opinions are varied and the questions can really make you think. Its a friendly environment where opinions are respected and the give and take is quick and fun.
The Sci-Fi Book Discussions are always held on the third Wednesday of every other month at 7 PM EST. (So this year’s sci-fi months are Jan, March, May, July, September, November.)
On March 22nd, at 7 PM EST, we’ll be discussing:
Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan
(I can tell you that there’s not going to be a lot of fangirling during this one. It’s not exactly been a hit amongst us.)
I’ve talked about that one quite a bit, so here’s what I want to get straight to. For some time my cohost and I have also punted around the possibility of doing a horror version of Dare to Discuss on the alternate months. We finally got off our butts and organized it!
So, on April 19th, at 8:30 PM EST, we’ll be discussing:
Whispering Corridors: A Ghost Story by Ambrose Ibsen
Whispering Corridors: There’s something in the house on Kenwood Drive, and it only comes out at night… College students Eric and Lydia are looking for a novel way to spend Halloween. They decide to put together a documentary about the supernatural and take a camcorder into the long-abandoned house on Kenwood Drive. It’s said that a vengeful spirit lives there, and Lydia thinks it the perfect location.
Eric, though, has his reservations. Having grown up in the area, he’s familiar with the stories of the spirit they call the “Upside-Down Man”, and as their trip to the house draws near, his fear begins to mount. According to the rumors, once you go into the house, you bring the Upside-Down Man out with you. And in three days’ time, you disappear.
When the two of them begin to see and experience strange things, they launch into a frenzied search for truth, attempting to separate the myth of Kenwood House from the reality. But it turns out that untangling the threads of local legend is more difficult than it appears.
Especially when you’ve only got three days. – Goodreads
And at only 164 pages, it’s not exactly a massive time commitment!
So we gleefully invite all horror hounds to join us, right here at the newly set up Sci-Fi & Scary Forums, on April 19th at 8:30 PM EST!
And, by participating in one, you get a voice in what the next book we discuss for June will be!
If you’re interested, all you need to do is click on the ‘forums’ tab at the top of the screen, then register. (Its free to register and I don’t share your information.) Then join us at the appropriate time for the discussion! (Or mosey over to the science fiction and horror movie section and make your feelings known on the recent visual offerings the genres have given us.)
Pandora: End of Days: The most amazing archaeological discovery of our time– a sarcophagus from an ancient civilization that predates the Egyptian Pyramids by more than fifty thousand years–is being broadcast as a live public exhibit on national TV.
But in their haste to reveal a glimpse of what could be the origin of mankind, the scholars of the OBARI Foundation instead unleash an ancient plague upon the modern world.
This is the age-old story of the curious–and of those who must race to close the door on what should never have been opened . . .
Let’s face it, for most people, size matters. They might not say that it does, but it does. Who wants a corndog bite when they could have the foot long corndog? Or, alternately, sometimes someone doesn’t want something 3 inches thick. They want something that’s going to be quick and not make their muscles sore just holding it. People generally fall toward one end of the spectrum or the other. We want the in-it-for-the-long-haul romp that leaves us tired and happy and unable to even think about doing it again immediately, or multiple tastes of heaven to be taken at our leisure.
I’m talking, of course, about the size of books. Not only their actual size but how ‘big’ they feel.
Relativity for bookworms: 30 minutes with a good book feels like 5, and 30 minutes with a bad book feels like 105.
So, for this Top Ten Tuesday, we’re going to talk about those long books that were quick reads.
To decide these, we went into our Goodreads list, and organized our read books by number of pages. Then we promptly spent precious minutes double checking those numbers, because those books surely weren’t that long were they?! That’s the one bad thing about e-books. You don’t really get a feel for how ‘big’ the book is. Just how it reads.
Note: Some of these books aren’t really that long. They’re more on this list because we were surprised at how long they actually were.
It by Stephen King (1116 pages) – Alright, the site is part horror, so no one is surprised that this list starts with a Stephen King book, right? He actually appears on this list twice. But I would like to note that this was GracieKat’s inclusion. I remember it as being a massive brick that was enjoyable but still looooooooooonnnnnngggggg.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (736 pages) – Gracie told me that “I thought was going to take forever because of the footnotes and stories within stories and all the weird formatting. I ended up finishing it in two days, though!” (For the record, I picked up House of Leaves in the library. Looked at it for about 1 minute, went ‘nope’ and reshelved it. This is why it’s good to have a cohost that has ‘similar but different’ tastes.)
Necronomicon by H.P Lovecraft (878 pages) – A compendium of a man’s works SHOULD feel like a long read, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately (or maybe not), this one didn’t to Gracie.
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (620 pages) – This one is probably the most shocking one to me. At no point do I remember thinking that this was a big book. Instead, in my head, I think of it as one of the shorter Dan Brown books. That’s so completely wrong. I guess that proves my point effectively. I felt like I spent maybe an hour or two reading this, but at 620 pages, it had to have taken me at least four or five.
Feed by Mira Grant (599 pages) – Okay, so this one had a bit of heft to it. I remember looking at the paperback in some consternation, but once I started reading it, time flew.
Ghost Story by Peter Straub (567 pages) – My cohost told me for this one that she went into it expecting something different because her mom kept talking about how long and boring and dry it was. So zooming through it was definitely a surprise.
Moonfall by Jack McDevitt (560 pages) – I refuse to believe this book has 560 pages in it. Not going to believe it until I can get my hands on my hard copy that’s hiding somewhere in my house and verify it. Moonfall was a quick, engrossing read that kept you going right from the beginning. And yeah, nope, no way it’s 560 pages. Not happening.
Dracula by Brahm Stoker (488 pages) – This was first published in 1897. It is old. So, as Graciekat said, obviously she assumed she’d be having to look things up and whatnot, right? Apparently, a good story is a good story is a good story regardless of the year it was written. (Oh, and she was 11 when she read this.)
Cell by Stephen King (449 pages) – I’m amused by Cell’s inclusion on this list, I won’t lie. Normally whenever I mention Stephen King on this site, it’s in relation to how wordy the man is. But I thought Cell was like…25o pages, tops. Yeah, I was just a wee bit off there.
Malus Domestica by S.A. Hunt (448 pages) – Easiest 448 pages I’ve ever read. Malus Domestica was engrossing, used extremely modern verbiage, and is the only book I’ve ever read that featured youtube to such a large extent.
Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz (429) – Okay, so if doing this list has taught me anything, it’s that my reading speed gives me a skewed perception of what a long book is. Flex is 429 pages? Really? I zoomed through this one. I know, I know, bookworm relativity and all. But seriously. It feels like I read this book in a ridiculously short amount of time.
When a newly engaged couple climbs Mount Ararat in Turkey, an avalanche forces them to seek shelter inside a massive cave uncovered by the snow fall. The cave is actually an ancient, buried ship that many quickly come to believe is really Noah’s Ark. But when a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark for the first time, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses…and when they break it open, they find that the cadaver within is an ugly, misshapen thing…and it has horns. A massive blizzard blows in, trapping them in that cave thousands of meters up the side of a remote mountain…but they are not alone.- Goodreads