Algis Budrys' first novel to appear in fifteen years, Hard Landing begins with report of an electocuted man found lying on the tracks of the Burrow Street station in Shoreview, Illinois. The story Budrys goes on to tell is a tale ripped from the pages of a supermarket tabloid. A starship crash lands in a New Jersey swamp, its passengers, human in appearence, scatter, each forced to find their own way in an alien world, living the rest of their lives among the human race.
Like much of Budys' best work of the 1960s, Hard Landing expounds on the nature of identity, following its cheif protagonist, Jack Mullica, through a series of adventures after his initial crash landing.
Hard Landing is a welcome addition to Budrys' small but impressive collection of work. Hopefully Budrys, who has never been the most prolific of writers, will not go another fifteen years before releasing his next.