"The women had taken over the United States by 1998." Except in Texas. Texas is still Man's Land where "the soil...was rich and nourishing for the transplanted male chauvinist." So, when journalist Dave Hull's girlfriend is promoted over him, he decides to go to Texas where men still ride horses and carry guns. Add to this mix an alien invasion of Lyru--a race of beautiful warrior women secretly controlled by a sect of old Crones--and you have the beginning of Richard Wilson's entertaining science fiction novel The Girls from Planet 5.
Published in 1955, Wilson creates "a topsy-turvy society where all the women act like men and too many men think they have to act like women" and one of the more unique extraterrestrial invasions ever written. What these beautiful alien invaders really want is unclear, but it just might fall to Texas to come to the country's rescue.
I picked this book up on a whim last month mostly because the cover and the premise made me laugh. And so did the book. Especially the whole thing with Texas. I also liked Dave Hull and Lori, the Lyru girl he meets. Is this book great literature? No. But it is an amusing take on the battle of the sexes. Wilson seems to be poking fun at both militant feminists and male chauvinists as well as the 1950s mindset on the traditional roles of men and women. It is not a novel to be taken too seriously. As Wilson himself said, "Writing, particularly science fiction writing, is fun--or should be. I enjoy putting predictable people in an unlikely situation and letting them get out of it as logically as they can. If a little hilarity creeps in, fine, but instruction, no. One whose nearest encounter to the sciences consisted of flunking intermediate algebra twice in high school and once in college can pretend to instruct no one." So, if you're looking for a little science fiction fun, give this crazy book a try. It'll definitely make you smile.