Downloading Aliens

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Title: Downloading Aliens
Publisher: FeatherPaw Inc.
Queen's Press
Neon Rainbow Press
Editor(s): H. Ann Walton
Date(s): 1991-?
Medium: print
Fandom: War of the Worlds
Language: English
External Links:
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Downloading Aliens is a gen War of the Worlds anthology.

Issue 1

cover of issue #1, H. Ann Walton
submission request in The Blackwood Project #11, "no slash or X-rated stories. Romantic liaisons okay as long as they're in good taste," the first issue was to be available at RevelCon

Downloading Aliens 1 was published in 1991 and contains 74 pages.

The art H. Ann Walton.

  • What Goes Around, Comes Around (by Ruth Schubert and Ann Johnson) Some wintertime fun for the members of the Blackwood Project. (4)
  • Elements (by Vicki L. Martin) The aliens run Norton and Ironhorse off the road and Norton has to go for help. (13)
  • Count Ironhorse (by H. Ann Walton) An unusual dream for the colonel. (2)
  • To Pledge Allegiance (by Denise Stoltenberg) Glimpses into Ironhorse's life. (11)
  • Thy Soul Shall Find Itself Alone (by Ann Johnson) Ironhorse and Blackwood stop to help a couple broken down along the road and get more than they bargained for. (6)
  • Greater Love Hath No Man (by H. Ann Walton) Ironhorse makes a trip to the Wall. (5)
  • A Totally Pointless Vignette (by Ann Johnson) The title says it all. (2)
  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (by Gena Fisher and S.P.G) Ironhorse tells Debi a story. (6)
  • poetry by Gillian Holt
  • a story starter by H. Ann Walton

Reactions and Reviews: Issue 1

If you're not into War of the Worlds, you might want to skip this review, since Downloading Aliens is exclusively WOTW material. Frankly, it's a very nice little zine, running just under 100 pages. Like another WOTW zine (Green Floating Weirdness), it has a fluorescent green cover (with an alien hand marking off the issue number) while the glued binding is similar to the one used in another WOTW zine (Alien Sushi). The printing is clear and dark, the art reproduction superb.

The issue starts off with a giggle in "What Goes Around Comes Around." The first snow of the season has Harrison Blackwood determined to stage a snowball fight, but Ironhorse is armed and dangerous....

"Elements" is a grimmer story, but probably the best one in the zine. Norton Drake must rescue a badly injured Ironhorse after they are run off the road by aliens. The only problem: they're out in the middle of nowhere and Norton's a paraplegic-and the aliens are out there.

"Count Ironhorse" is a dream vignette - Ironhorse fell asleep watching Suzanne McCullough's favorite film....

"To Pledge Allegiance" switches back and forth between Ironhorse's days at West Point, his tour in Vietnam, and the war with the aliens in the accounting of the beginning, growth, and end of a very special friendship that literally got off on the wrong foot. Unfortunately, it's somewhat skimpy on details, especially on the decade or so between Vietnam and the war with the aliens in the late 1980s. However, it's a powerful story with well-drawn characters, especially the original ones.

"Thy Soul Shall Find Itself Alone" is both a character piece and an action piece. After a chance encounter orphans a young boy, Ironhorse and Harrison must face their own helplessness and culpability in the death of his parents.

"Greater Love Hath No Man" brings Ironhorse back to The Wall to remember a buddy fallen in combat and face to face with his widow, a widow he couldn't face after her husband's death....

"A Totally Pointless, Dumb Vignette:" Harrison, Ironhorse, and cat's cradle-a dangerous situation. To bad Ironhorse never remembers Harrison's propensity for practical jokes.

"A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words" is the last piece and a serious contender for best story. Ironhorse manages to create a new Indian legend and convey his feelings for the rest of the Blackwood team after young Debi asks him to help her draw a Cherokee village.

The four 'compass point' poems manage to convey the character of the four principal characters quite well, though they are difficult to explain in a few words.

Frankly, I couldn't find a clunker in the lot. Ann and Vicki did a superb job of balancing humor and drama in organizing the contents, though I still don't understand why the artwork was kept separate from the stories it obviously relates to. (Maybe a screw up at the printers?) It should have faced the story or been planted in the middle, instead of being on a separate page altogether. [1]

Issue 2

Downloading Aliens 2 contains 72 pages.

  • The WoW Background: A Synopsis for the Uninitiated (by Ann Johnson) A non-fiction aid for fans. (2)
  • Hero on the Half-Shell (by Donna Broster and Sheila DC) Ironhorse is exposed to an Army psychological warfare chemical. (7)
  • How Shall We Distinguish the Shadows of Dream From the Darkness of the Tomb? (by Ruth Schubert, Gena Fisher, and Sheila DC) Ironhorse is kidnapped by aliens and the Project gets him back, but can he come to grips with the truth? (25)
  • Aftermath (by Linda Watson) The war is over and Harrison makes a visit to see Ironhorse. (4)
  • Alone with the Ironhorse (by Ruth Schubert and Ann Johnson) Harrison and Paul make an unusual drive. (3)
  • The Power of the Word (by Gillian Holt) The colonel discovers he's suddenly acquired an unusual talent. (6) (reprinted in Black Ops #4 and Green Floating Weirdness #20)
  • Sealed With a Kiss (by Sheila DC) The mail triggers a violent reaction in Blackwood. (6)
  • The Deer Understands the Wolf (by Debra Hicks and H. Ann Walton) The results of the story challenge in the first issue. Suzanne needs some help in the lab. (12)
  • Plus poetry by Gillian Holt. Art work by Barbara J. Caldwell, Constance Edwards, and H. Ann Walton.

Issue 3

Downloading Aliens 3 contains 129 pages.

  • The Valley of Unrest (by Ann Johnson) A moment of soul searching at the Cottage. (2)
  • Interlude: Search and Destroy (by Cheshire de la Croix) Harrison's got a new toy and Ironhorse might just kill him. (2)
  • Traffic School (by Gillian Holt) Ironhorse gets a ticket and ends up at traffic school. (4) (reprinted in Black Ops #5 and Green Floating Weirdness #20)
  • Three of a Kind (by Jo Seaver) The second season is just a dream. (1)
  • Sometimes Heaven Helps the Wicked (by N.S.) The Blackwood Project encounter Asmodeus Mogart, a demon. (6)
  • Between Survival and the Right Thing to Do (by Cheryl Benson) The colonel gives the Project members a practical gift. (1)
  • Night Screams (by Linda Watson) After an explosion Ironhorse has some bad dreams. (16)
  • Future Shock (by Cheshire de la Croix) A second season "fix." (21)
  • Genesis of Terror (by Denise Stoltenberg) A trip into the childhoods of Harrison and Ironhorse. (7)
  • Reflections in the Dawn (by Tammy L. Croft) A moment of introspection. (1)
  • Though I Walk Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death (by Ann Johnson) A stop at a gas station turns deadly. (4)
  • Within the Mouth of the Dragon (by Alice Aldridge) The Blackwood Project go to China. (52)
  • Plus poetry by Tammy L. Croft, Bethany Daystar, Gillian Holt, and N.S. Art work by Barbara J. Caldwell, Anja Gruber, and H. Ann Walton.

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