In Emily Jane’s rollicking debut, when spaceships arrive and then depart suddenly without a word, the certainty that we are not alone in the universe turns to intense uncertainty as to our place within it.
“Weird and sweet … like a 2020s White Noise: loud and colorful Americana with a sprinkle of apocalyptic doom.”—Edgar Cantero
“Heartfelt, witty, and secretly romantic … a delightful and poignant story about what it is to be human, and what we owe each other.” —Christina Lauren
Since long before the spaceships’ fleeting presence, Blaine has been content to go along with the whims of his supermom wife and half-feral, television-addicted children. But when the kids blithely ponder skinning people to see if they’re aliens, and his wife drags them all on a surprise road trip to Disney World, even steady Blaine begins to crack.
Half a continent away, Heather floats in a Malibu pool and watches the massive ships hover overhead. Maybe her life is finally going to start. For her, the arrival heralds a quest to understand herself, her accomplished (and oh-so-annoying) stepfamily, and why she feels so alone in a universe teeming with life.
Suddenly conscious and alert after twenty catatonic years, Oliver struggles to piece together his fragmented, disco-infused memories and make sense of his desire to follow a strange cat on a westward journey.
Embracing the strangeness that is life in the twenty-first century, On Earth as It Is on Television is a rollicking, heartfelt tale of first contact that practically leaps off the planet.
About the Author
Emily Jane grew up in Boise, Boulder, and San Francisco. She earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of San Francisco and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She lives on an urban farm in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, Steve; their two children; their cat, Scully; and their husky Nymeria. On Earth as It Is on Television is her first novel.
“Heartfelt, witty, and secretly romantic, On Earth as It Is on Television is a delightful and poignant story about what it is to be human and what we owe each other.” —Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Something Wilder
"Glittering, strange spaceships appear and hover over every major city on Earth; yes, that's familiar. What is unfamiliar about this debut from Emily Jane is the way first contact with an alien species brings people together and how it tears them apart—as well as the major role of cats [...] If you enjoyed Lindsay Ellis's Axiom's End but prefer lighter fare, you'll find deep comfort and joy in Jane's exploration of what it means to be alien and how we all take turns being on the outside. Like a science-fiction novel that runs in the margins of I Can Has Cheezburger? memes, On Earth as It Is on Television is an unusually fun and absurd take on what might otherwise be just another imitation of Independence Day or The Day the Earth Stood Still." —Scientific American
“Jane’s novel subverts the classic first-contact story to explore humanity’s responses to uncertainty in the modern age… [an] energetic and contemporary debut will appeal to fans of family-focused sci-fi like Mike Chen’s Light Years from Home.” —Library Journal
"Weird and sweet, On Earth as It Is on Television is like a 2020s White Noise: loud and colorful Americana with a sprinkle of apocalyptic doom--plus cats. It takes aliens (or an Emily Jane) to help us see our society for the bizarre, sugary, microplastic-poisoned dream it is.” —Edgar Cantero, New York Times bestselling author of Meddling Kids
"Pick a direction and throw a stone and you’ll probably hit an alien invasion story of some kind [...] is there really room for anything new? Well, as it turns out, yes. Because whatever you’re expecting from Emily Jane’s On Earth as It Is on Television, think again. On the surface, it seems like any old UFO story. But look a little bit deeper, and you’ll find a very absurd, heartwarming, hilarious look at what makes us human. A tale laced with fatty foods, talking cats, mysterious aliens, and far too much television. Exactly as it should be." —Geek Vibes Nation
“Cats, television, and bacon all play important roles in the book; cats can perceive things humans can't and are given powers that help the characters find their way, and the funny way television changes the aliens' minds about their own culture is quite the commentary on our world. A compelling plot with some quirky features makes this book a great entry for a new sf reader.” —Booklist
“Packed from start to finish with wit and pop culture references, On Earth as It Is On Television offers a uniquely modern spin on the concept of aliens arriving on Earth. Both contemporary and fantastical, Emily Jane’s story utterly charmed me. I hope when the aliens come, they’re just like the Malorts.” —Maureen Kilmer, author of Suburban Hell
“A painful and hopeful examination of first contact and second chances on the third rock from the sun. Jane skillfully weaves individual character threads into a poignant narrative tapestry of an unraveling world.” —Valerie Valdes, author of Chilling Effect