Terror from below!In the summer of 1979, Eckert, Wisconsin, was the sight of the most unique UFO encounter in history. A young couple observed a saucer-like aircraft hovering over HollersHill. A blue beam blasted down from the center of the craft into the hill and caused the ground to rumble for miles. Now, thirty years later, Eckert is experiencing nightly rumbles that stir up wild rumors and garner outside attention. The earthly tremors are being blamed on everything from earthquakes to underground earth dwellers. Two pre-teens discover a pipe out behind Packard’s Flea Market uprooted by the “booms” and come into contact with the powerful ooze bubbling from within. What begins as curiosity will end in an afternoon of unbridled terror for the entire town.
For whatever reason, I found myself struggling to get into Boom Town, a short novella by Glenn Rolfe. While it bears no shortage of horror elements, I simply didn’t find it as engrossing as Becoming. That could be due to lack of character development.
The only characters we truly get to know this time around are Kim, Brady, and their immediate family. There’s no real attempt to establish their home town outside of the flea market, and aside from the main villain, Alan, the focus on the alien-like creature invading the small town is minimal.
I wanted really badly to like this novella, but the plot progression felt a little too slow; it seemed like things were hung up on a budding romance between Brady and Kim which, at the stories conclusion was for a reason and did have its intended impact, but was something that I, as a reader, could have done with out. Over all, this is not one of my favorites of Rolfe’s work and I would not consider recommending it to other readers unless they specifically ask for something with aliens and earthquakes.