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Dorothy Piper
Pick Your Planet
Young Lex Simms is half-alien. Like the rest of his family he has inherited the remarkable Martian abilities of changing shape and traveling in spirit form through time and space. Lex risks his life to rescue the Martians from their doomed planet and brings them to Earth, only to have a violent storm nearly kill them. The older Martians plead with Lex to take them back to Mars where they expected to die of thirst anyway. The younger ones, however, want to stay on Earth and become human. Meanwhile, arch-enemy Fi detects their presence, and - oh boy - is he mad. According to an agreement made eons ago, Earth belongs to Fi. He threatens to torture any non-Earthling who dares to step foot on his planet. The Martians must choose whether to return to Mars where death awaits, or stay on Earth and face Fi's terrible anger. Either way, their future looks grim.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10


Piper offers up a fast-paced story about a young half-Martian who faces a difficult decision after working to save his people. The story moves quickly and nimbly through detailed set pieces and gives an interesting glimpse into life on Earth from an outsider's perspective. The characters are engaging and well developed, and they remind the reader that aliens have all the same interpersonal problems as humans!

Date Submitted: September 28, 2016