"An interesting premise"
In the twenty-first century in New York State retiree
Lester Ordway enjoys spending time in his garden. However,
his repose ends when a weird bug stings Lester right
between the eyes. Lester becomes dizzy and sees his
memories flash past him before grabbing the insect.
Lester regains consciousness in a hospital where he
releases the bug, which has multiplied into several
insects. Medical lab technician Pilar Ramirez grabs one of
the bugs so that entomologist Maybelle Terwilliger can
study it. Maybelle declares that the insect is mechanical
and probably otherworldly gathering information about
humans. Soon a stranger comes after Pilar planning to
silent her and her cohorts before they can persuade a
skeptical government that an alien invasion is imminent.
Few stories start as creative as Argonauts begins with its
intelligent but strange alien invades the earth premise.
The story line bites the audience from the moment that the
weird bug stings Lester through Maybelle's pronouncement
that the bug is a form of a listening device. However, the
tale loses its sting when it becomes
standard "David/Davidettes" saving a disbelieving world
from an alien invasion. Though overall unique and
intriguing, fans will feel a bit disappointed that Stanley
Schmidt turns this distinctive tale into typical sub-genre
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 19, 2002
Stanley Schmidt's first novel in sixteen years!
Three decades in the future, in a public garden north of
New York City, a man enjoying the seasonal blossoms,
butterflies, and buzzing bees notices a strange flying
insect unlike any he's ever seen before. When it stings him
between the eyes, he is overwhelmed by a tidal wave of
memories crashing through his mind in a flood of
simultaneous sensations and emotions. As he collapses, he
manages to catch and hold onto the bug.
At the hospital, medical technologist Pilar Ramirez watches
as the creature is pried from Lester Ordway's hand. It
releases a swarm of even smaller insects that sting her and
several other people in the emergency room causing similar,
if milder, cognitive effects. Frightened but fascinated,
and frustrated by the hospital's attempt to dismiss what
happened after the bugs disappear, Pilar befriends Lester
and joins his quest for an explanation.
Pilar and Lester enlist the help of entomologist Maybelle
Terwilliger, and the three soon begin to suspect that they
have discovered a secret alien invasion of Earth. An
incursion on a tiny scale but of global scope, it is
pervasive reconnaissance that puts the legendary hundred
eyes of Argus to shame. Somebody is literally bugging the
planet. Can Pilar and her friends convince the government
before it's too late?