When They Came from Space
by Mark Clifton (1963)
The spacemen attacked with Earth’s own weapons: big bombs, brass hats & Hollywood press agents. The spacemen had mastered all the tricks of Hollywood press agency. They were conquering heroes, who had just saved the earth from destruction. They looked like men–young & handsome, brave but modest. They acted as if they wanted the whole world to like them. Two men knew it was too good to be true. One understood power, & could see that these visitors were experts in his own techniques of manipulating public opinion. The other man believed in the dignity of the human race, and hated to see people being fooled. He had to fight for his–& everyone’s–right to choose their own destiny.
It starts OK, in first person narrative about an unfortunate person who is mistaken for someone else. Unfortunately it switches to third person in sections. This just allows the author to rant on about his personal problems with everyone else.
Too much of the story relies on a lot of people doing dumb things with only the main protagonist knowing what is going on. All the exposition stretches out what should have been a short story to novel length. It’s not even funny. A lot of authors would have done better with the same material.