There are two themes to Radiomen. First, if
there are aliens interacting with our world
they are likely just as confused about who
or what God is as human beings are; and
second, whoever they are, they’re probably
just as fond of dogs as we are.
Laurie, a woman who works at a bar at
Kennedy airport doesn’t remember that
when she was a child, she met an alien
on the fire escape of a building where her
uncle kept a shortwave radio. The radio
is part of a universal network of repeaters
maintained by an unknown alien race; they
use the network to broadcast prayers into
She meets a psychic who is actually part
of a Scientology-like cult called the “Blue
Awareness,” as well as a late-night radio
host. All have their own reasons for unraveling
the mystery of the lost radio network.
Laurie is given a strange dog by her
neighbor, an immigrant and a member of
the Dogon tribe—people who believe they
were visited by aliens long ago and repeat
a myth about how the aliens brought doglike
animals with them. All Dogon dogs are
supposedly descended from that animal.
As conflict develops between the Blue
Awareness leader and the other characters,
the Dogon acts as an intermediary between
the humans, who want to understand why
the aliens need the radio network, and the
aliens who need the humans to help them
find a lost element of the universal network.
This literary science fiction novel comes from Lerman , an award-winning poet. Laurie Perzin, a "post-hippie-jack-of-all service-trades" bartender, works nights at The Endless Weekend, a sports bar located at JFK Airport. She lives alone in a shabby Queens high-rise apartment building, barely making ends meet. One night, she calls in to the psychic Ravenette's radio talk show, who conjures up a vision of the space alien encounter Laurie had as a six-year-old. The radio program host, Jack Shepherd, follows up with a phone call and establishes that Laurie is the niece of the late Avi Perzin, who appeared on Shepherd's radio program as an expert in satellite and radio communications. Laurie admits she observed an extraterrestrial presence she calls "the radioman" while she assisted Avi to investigate the exciting Sputnik telemetry broadcasts, which also included the mysterious "ghost signals" on the same frequency. Laurie accepts Ravenette's invitation to visit her, but then discovers Ravenette is a key figure in the Scientology-like cult known as The Blue Awareness now headed by the founder's son, Raymond Gilmartin. Ravenette demands Laurie turn over "the Blue Box" device she inherited from Avi, and her refusal stirs up trouble with The Blue Awareness. Laurie secures help when a neighbor gives her a loyal watchdog she names Digitaria. As Lerman's entertaing second novel winds to its conclusion, the spunky Laurie and Shepherd force a showdown with The Blue Awareness. It'll leave readers wondering if there might be life out there.
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Unusual Story of Aliens Among Us
"Radiomen" is a very unusual but delightful story. It is about a lot of things: family history, ancient aliens, radio enthusiasts, the love of dogs, faith, the boroughs of New York, and a cult that seems a lot like Scientology.
The protagonist, Laurie, has sort of drifted through life. She never really felt connected, although she got by. Now a middle-aged bartender, she has a quiet and unassuming existence. She calls into a midnight radio show on a whim, and a psychic reminds her of a childhood dream about a dim figure that she called the Radioman. Little did she know that this memory from her childhood would propel her into conflict with a dangerous cult. But in her struggles to resolve the disturbances in her life, she will have the assistance of friends, neighbors, strangers, and most especially dogs.
This was a very refreshing story! It was very unexpected narrative in many ways. The settings and characters were very vivid, and you seemed to become part of their world in the first few sentences.