the coming by joe haldeman is a first-contact story, set in the not-too-distant future of florida. i think he tried too hard to mix in a bit of an elmore leonard vibe, and just doesn’t pull it off.

camouflage by joe haldeman reminded me a lot of a michael crichton book, and that’s not entirely a good thing. it certainly shares a superficial similarity with sphere in that a mysterious (alien) object found in the ocean is a central plot point. but most of the action is in the story of two aliens who are drawn to the object, one which can shape-shift into anything, and another which can shape-shift into any human form.

i found the ending in both books to be pretty unsatisfying, and far too rushed. they also both really suffer from badly cliched scifi sex. here’s a classic review of camouflage from j.p. bonsen on amazon: “Hot alien babeomorph seduces nerd scientist to get near priceless treasure only to be semi-waylaid by evil billionaire immortal whilst buffeted by the passions of unintended xenoromance. Good stuff!”

i picked up both books based on their mentions in jwz’s list of recently-read books.

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