Those Who Watch

by Robert Silverberg
Reviewed date: 2006 Feb 8
Rating: 2
143 pages
Quote: "Apply Occam's Razor to your throat, Bronstein. And press hard."
cover art

Plot: Glair, Vorneen, and Mirtin are Dirnans whose job is to sit in a space ship and watch Earth secretly. When their flying saucer malfunctions, they bail out and fall to Earth; they are separated during the fall, but each is found and nursed back to health by a human. Their human saviors neither turn them in to the US government nor let them fall into the hands of the Kranazoi--another group of aliens who are also secretly watching Earth.

Mirtin is found by eleven-year-old American Indian Charley Estancia, who talks to him about science and technology. Glair is found by lonely bachelor Tom Falkner, who falls in love with her; Glair finds herself returning the sentiment. Vorneen is discovered by widow Kathryn Mason, and they fall in love too.

Mirtin, Vorneen, and Glair are eventually rescued by their alien friends. Though Glair and Vorneen have feelings for their human rescuers, they know it would be impossible to stay on Earth. As they leave, Glair sets Tom Falkner up with Kathryn Mason--and everyone lives happily ever after.

My Spin: The plot of Those Who Watch is straightforward, has no twists, and sounds like a crummy B movie. It is only 143 pages, which brings me to my question: did Robert Silverberg write this book in one day, or did he spend a whole weekend cranking this out?

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