Janusz Zajdel, Polish science fiction

Coming out of the Shadow (1985, Poland)


Original title: Wyjście z cienia

Categories: totalitarian statealien speciesalternate realityscientific fiction1980s sci-fi

Coming out of the Shadow Wyjście z cienia 1985 science fiction book

It has been 80 years since Earth defence forces were surprised by the detection of incoming alien spaceships of Elgomaya race. While they were dealing with the incoming rockets another, much larger, fleet was detected coming from the same direction. The Earth defence could not cope with such opponent, but it turns out the second fleet did not came to invade, but to save Earth from the Elgomaya invasion. After that the forces from Proxima Centauri stayed on our planet as protectors, helping reorganize the Earth, increase the agricultural productivity, they fixed the overcrowding problem by dividing the planet into zones and equally distributing people in them. On surface it looked like a solution to all problems, but it had its price - the borders between zones are guarded by laser towers that destroy anyone or anything that tries to cross the border, people are forced to get permission to visit another zone, also the Proxims are exporting some of the Earth products to their own planet. Young Tim had failed a history exam and is worried that his dad won’t take him on a trip to natural forest in another zone. Soon he begins to discover that there are people, who doubt the story about the origins of the Proxima Centauri race, especially since they seem to be obsessed with destroying all the ants on Earth.

Short novel by Polish sci-fi writer Janusz Zajdel that was published in the times when national communist censorship was still very much active in Poland, but Coming out of the Shadow describes almost openly the Soviet occupation of Poland from 1945 and the sociological methods used by them to divide and rule the Eastern Europe. But despite that the novel is quite interesting look at the Earth under control of alien race that keeps its identity hidden and the efforts of people to find out who exactly they are dealing with, not to mention what was the true story of the invasion 80 years earlier.

Our rating

6.8 / 10

Overall rating

7 / 10

Reality complexity

4 / 5


3 / 5

Story complexity

3 / 5

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