Invasion from 2500 takes place in contemporary 1964 America. While Korean War veteran Jack Eskridge is driving through the desolate rolling hills of South Dakota, the night sky illuminates with a flash. Jack witnesses the formation of an illuminated arch from which armored men and war machines begin emerging. The author’s description matches the paperback’s cover art by illustrator Ralph Brillhart perfectly. A good cover brings the author’s vision to life, and anything else is just generic packaging - a wrapper thrown on a product with no thought or care. In this case, the artist clearly read the book and understood his role.
It doesn’t take long - only a couple pages - before this invading force of high-tech soldiers wearing gas masks functionally take over large U.S. cities while most Americans are cowering in their homes. The invaders’ airships spray a gas on populations to overcome resistance while Jack and a hitchhiker attempt to outrun the invaders.
The reality concerning the identity of the invading force is pretty much given away in the paperback’s title - a tactical mistake since their origin was a big second-half revelation. The oppressors from the future have some insidious plans for the good people of 1964 that I won’t give away here. Fortunately, an underground resistance similar to what arose in France during WW2 forms to oppose the invaders. If you’re into cool time-travel paradoxes, there’s more than a few in this short paperback.
Overall, Invaders from 2500 is a simple, but very exciting, work of vintage fun. It’s a great gateway drug into the world of science fiction for readers approaching the genre from a background of action-adventure pulp fiction. With breakneck action from start to finish merged with cool time travel ideas, this old book is a real winner.
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