Monday, February 21, 2011

"Journal of a UFO Investigator"

Back in the 1960s, David Halperin was a teen-age UFO investigator. He later became a professor of religious studies—his specialty, religious traditions of heavenly ascent. Journal of a UFO Investigator, released in February by Viking Press, is his first novel.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Journal of a UFO Investigator and reported the following:
Page 69 of Journal of a UFO Investigator falls at the beginning of a chapter. It’s nighttime. Danny Shapiro, the teenage “UFO investigator” of the title, is visiting the headquarters of the “Super-Science Society,” a band of intellectually and sexually precocious adolescents who, like Danny, are devotees of the mysteries that lie just outside the bounds of science.

There’s tall, debonair Julian. There’s pudgy, blond-haired Tom. There’s gorgeous Rochelle, who’ll presently reveal herself as an accomplished seductress and thief, and who may or may not be Tom’s girlfriend.

“I started toward the doorway of the hut,” Danny tells us on page 69. “I caught a glimpse, inside, of two bodies twisted against each other. I thought I heard clothes softly rubbing. There was another laugh. A gleaming white hand appeared, pressed against the back of a neck, amid short blondish hairs.”

And Danny, already in love with Rochelle, feels “my stomach clutching with grief and disappointment, at the knowledge that she was Tom’s after all.”

On page 69, Danny and his friends are on the platform at the top of the Super-Science Society’s observation tower. Soon he’ll go inside the domed hutlike structure that houses their telescope, and through the telescope he’ll see something extraordinary on the moon that will leave him stunned, drained of energy. Rochelle then will lead him through the moonlight toward the railing that surrounds the lofty platform. He’ll hesitate to follow. “What are you afraid of?” she’ll demand. “That I’ll push you over the edge?”

It’s a reasonable fear. Soon Danny will indeed go “over the edge,” into a world that’s easier entered than escaped. There he’ll find terror, wonder, ultimately wisdom. Again and again he’ll confront deadly peril. Yet the deadliest, in his own home, he’ll barely notice until it’s too late.
Learn more about Journal of a UFO Investigator at David Halperin's website and blog (“my thoughts on UFOs, religion, the writer’s life, and other subjects dear to my heart”).

Watch a video trailer of Journal of a UFO Investigator.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue