by Patrick O'Leary
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Pub Date 08 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 26 Jan 2022
Did the infamous Roswell site contain something so weird that it bears little resemblance to UFOs, aliens, or the most intricate conspiracy theories? With 51, Patrick O’Leary (The Gift) delivers a witty, unpredictable novel that upends one of the best-kept secrets in American history: the strange events at Area 51. This implausibly plausible explanation intricately entangles estranged friends, their not-quite-imaginary friends, and a series of very confused American presidents.
“A hallucinogenic Alice In Wonderland / Yellow Submarine / Slaughterhouse Five narrative that is even weirder than the reality that is America.”
—Mario Acevedo, author of the Felix Gomez series
“[O’Leary’s] voice is fresh and funny.”
—New York Times
What really happened in Area 51?
Adam Pagnucco is just trying to help out a stranger who’s down and out. He has no idea that man is Winston Koop, his exceptionally talented, ex-best friend. Koop and Nuke had been inseparable in college, but then life happened. Nuke finally quit drinking, and Koop—Koop was at the center of a massive conspiracy that the government faked UFOs just to cover it up.
Even after confessing to removing the memories of hundreds of people, Koop is still hiding something crucial from Nuke. The truth is even stranger than fiction, and time is running out for the real inhabitants of the Roswell site. Can Nuke somehow find a way to forgive . . . but not to forget?
In his long-awaited new novel, Patrick O’Leary deftly navigates the invisible currents of secrets and forgiveness. Gripping, profound, and utterly unique, 51 is sure to please fans of fans of smart paranormal nostalgia, such as the X-Files, Old Man’s War, and Stranger Things.
A Note From the Publisher
Advance Praise for 51
“O’Leary’s 51 is literary fiction on LSD, laced with surreal dreamscapes, humor, and dark insights into the human condition.”
—William C. Dietz, author of the Winds of War series
“O’Leary and his metaphysical snake slither across a hallucinogenic Alice In Wonderland/Yellow Submarine/Slaughterhouse Five narrative is even weirder than the reality that is America.”
—Mario Acevedo, author of The Felix Gomez series
“A deeply felt exploration of friendship, loyalty, memory, and growing old . . . there are also passages of truly lovely prose to remind us that this is much more than a conspiracy thriller.”
Praise for Door Number Three
“Door Number Three is Mr. O’Leary’s first novel. His voice is fresh and funny, and he is bold enough to offer this assessment of the human condition as seen from a therapist’s perspective ‘The only terror that heals: the terror of being ourselves. How we suffer to avoid it.’”
—The New York Times
[STARRED REVIEW] “A highly appealing mix of skilled writing and zany imaginings, this novel bears positive comparison not only to the work of Philip K. Dick but also to the earlier SF of Kurt Vonnegut . . . One of the best books of the year.”
“An idiosyncratic, witty, labyrinthine, preposterous, unrestrained, and often highly entertaining debut
“It might well be the best sf novel of the past year.”
—The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
“Read Door Number Three while you still have the mind it is guaranteed to blow.”
—James Morrow, author of Shambling Towards Hiroshima
Praise for The Gift
“Echoes of Tolkein reverberate throughout this wonderful fantasy, a satisfying story-with-in-a-story in which a king and his youthful companion try to best the forces of evil.”
—Booklist, Editor’s Choice
“Witty, weird, often enchanting.”
“A magical tale . . . O’Leary cleverly embeds tales within tales within tales as he layers and intersects his story lines.”
Praise for The Impossible Bird
“I just loved it. I thought it was moving and scary and weird—Not only wonderful, wonderful fiction, but also wonderful science fiction.”
—Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners
“O’Leary’s imagination and writing have never been more vibrant.”
—Jeffrey Ford, author of Out of Body
Praise for Other Voices, Other Doors
“The most unorthodox, and unorthodoxly invigorating collection of the year. Potent, outspoken, unhinged.”—Interzone
“Essential O’Leary—zany, serious, unclassifiable, and delightful.”
—Kathleen Ann Goonan, author of Light Music
Planned Marketing and Publicity
• Consumer, trade, and co-op advertising
• Promotion at major trade and genre conventions, including the World Science Fiction, and World Fantasy conventions; ALA; Winter Institute, and Readercon
• Promotion targeting reviews and interviews in national print and online media
• Planned book giveaways on Goodreads, SF Signal, and other online outlets
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 6 members
My thanks to NetGallery and the publisher Tachyon Publications for an advanced copy of this science fiction novel.
Sometimes a book exceeds every expectation that you have for it. Patrick O'Leary in his book 51 surprises amazes, confuses, delights, scares, awes and makes the reader question everything from the last chapter to the next, with a skill that has been missing for quite a while in science fiction and fantasy. Maybe it is the time that this book took to create, Mr. O'Leary mentions this in the end notes. This book is so good, so full of ideas that at the end the reader not only wants to start again and see where and how everything fits, but asks how do I hook this book right into my veins.
A man, Adam, coming from a regular meeting at AA stops to be a good Samaritan to a poor guy who falls in the street in front of his car. Adam is surprised to find that he knows this man, Kopp, who he lost touch with years ago. He thinks. Bounding over their previous problems with alcohol and failure, Kopp starts to tell a tale of his life. And things get weird.
This book is crazy in the best of ways. The story seeps out, and what seems at the beginning to be possibly a been there read that book about little green men at Area 51 in Groom Lake, becomes something more. An amalgamation of the Invaders, Cthulu and every possible conspiracy featured on The X-Files as directed by David Lynch and Christopher Nolan, in black and white, and music by the Velvet Underground and the Flaming Lips remixed by Harry Partch.
The book has narrative flips, untrustworthy narrators, POV changes, art, science, math, passages on the unique sadness on alcoholism and why people need addiction, failed dreams, love, imaginary friends, the price that children pay because of adult failure, and much more. I could tell more of the plot, but why take the beauty of this book away from future readers. If books that make you think, and take you by surprise, in a good way, are rare and wanted in your life, try this one. Just give it time, and if you start to go I don't get this, you won't in the beginning, Maybe not even at the end. However it is a great trip to take.
I've not read anything else by Mr. O'Leary, but I plan to remedy that. This book is perfect for these confusing end times we seem to have let ourselves allow to happen. However there is hope in this book. And even redemption. One of the best books I have read in along time. One I can't wait to reread.
The Men in Black on acid
Wow, I can't even begin to describe this book other than it's unique, hilarious, and well worth reading.
Highly recommended if you have a warped personality.
I received this book from Tachyon Publishing through Net Galley in the hopes that I would read it and leave an unbiased review.
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