In Search of a Lost Love Affair

Did I ever tell you guys how much I love trailers? Film trailers, TV show trailers, anything. I love the idea of conveying and selling a film or piece of work in only two minutes or so, utilising the (now rare) art of getting across the plot and selling the film without ruining any of the story. You’ll probably see me post about trailers a lot in the future.

Anyway, my favourite trailer is the extended trailer for 2013’s The Cloud Atlas. It was one of my films of 2013 and an incredible piece of filmmaking in general.

In the aforementioned trailer is a brilliant line, uttered by one of the best characters in the story. Robert Frobisher cannot find the end of a book he was reading, and it’s driving him mad. He writes to his lover, Sixsmith: “Half the book is missing. It’s completely killing me. A half-finished book is, after all, a half-finished love affair.”. I always thought that line was brilliant, because it has summed up the feelings I’ve had in regards to an infuriating search for a book I read in high school.

I picked the book up when I was twelve or thirteen and too bored/scared/lazy to hit the playground in High School. From what I remember, It was about humanoid aliens who lived (or had settled) on a dystopian Earth after human society fell apart. Humans live in slums of ruined cities surrounding the alien citadel acting as servants, and are dismissed as primitive and unintelligent, serving as menial workers for the aliens. The plot was told from the point of view of a young female alien and (possibly) involved the discovery or cover up of a plan to kill/sterilise the humans on the planet or cover up their intelligence. That’s all I can clean from my memory of it. I have a feeling I never made it to the end of the book.

Some points I know:

  • The aliens had some kind of ‘halo’ above their heads.
  • There is a section where they discuss anatomy and I feel as if they were described as taller and fitter than the average human
  • They use flying hover cars
  • There is a plot point of either the protagonist or someone close to her escaping in a garbage truck that serves the alien citadel.
  • Another (possible) plot point involves the protagonist wandering the human slums at night, discovering they are more intelligent than she believes or possibly evidence of a more sophisticated human culture (which makes me think the plot involved some kind of repression or cover up of this fact)
  • There is another plot point where they fly to a doctors summer-house to find him dead (I also think he may have been human. There was something notable about him).
  • The cover featured (possibly) the protagonist flying over the slums of the city in aforementioned hovercar, heading toward the citadel. It had that made think it was from the 80s/70s? Possibly?)

I read this book on and off without much interest in high school and I believe I never finished it. However, years on that book seems to have had more impact and me than almost anything else I’ve read. Every science fiction book I read reminds me of it. I don’t remember particularly liking it, but the fact I remember it so vividly makes me desperate to find it and properly read it. I have a feeling it was the first true science fiction book I ever read. I’ve googled everything I know, I’ve scoured Wikipedia pages and TV Tropes entries, I have stopped at every bookshop and even tried to contact the old librarian that lent me the book, all with no luck.

Do you know if this book? If so, tell me! I’ll reward you with all the drawings you could possibly want! I can’t live out my days not knowing the conclusion of this book. A half-finished book, after all, is a half-finished love affair.

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