So, you want to storm Area 51?
This summer’s most anticipated event may have come and gone (despite a few stragglers), but clearly people are hungry for some answers about the rumored alien-landing site. Were the reported UFOs really just the result of testing of the Lockheed U-2 aircraft in the ’50s, as the United States Air Force claims? Or is something more mysterious and secretive afoot? The truth may be out there, but honestly sometimes fiction is more fun! With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of novels that imagine what really takes place in Area 51…
Area 51 Series by Robert Doherty
The first book in a 10 volume series, Area 51 follows scientist Dr. Hans Von Seeckt, one of the members of the research crew that found alien tech in Antarctica in the 1940s, on his quest to unlock the secrets of the flying mothership. Area 51 is, of course, the secret government base where Dr. Hans Von Seeckt and co. conduct their flight tests. A series of conspiracy books, each one is connected to Area 51 in some way, but also explores other legends and myths like Nosferatu.
Event by David L. Golemon
This supernatural thriller draws from the lore of UFO sightings and crash landings in Roswell, New Mexico in the 1940s. The American Southwest is home to the Event Group, the United States most secret organization that protects America from past mistakes by solving mysteries of the past. In this first novel, the Event Group encounters two alien creatures that crashed in New Mexico; one is kind, and the other is known as the Destroyer of Worlds. So it’s up to Event Group to save Earth from being the next victim of this creature.
Saucer Country by Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly
In this discontinued comic series from Vertigo, Arcadia Alvarado, the Governor of New Mexico believes she’s been abducted by aliens. The problem is, she can’t remember the encounter, and recruits some help to solve the mystery. While Alvarado is leading her investigation into her abduction, she’s also running for President of the United States, and dealing with her job duties as governor. The short-lived series explored UFO mythology, and also featured stand-alone “true” stories from people who claimed they were abducted.
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
In this YA science fiction novel, the protagonist Reese Holloway and her partner David are driving home to San Francisco when they get into a car crash with a bird in the Arizona-Nevada desert that is Area 51. Holloway wakes up in a military hospital about a month later, healed from an operation. It isn’t until Holloway gets back home and encounters Amber Gray, that she realizes things are wrong and she may be wrapped up in one big government-extraterrestrial conspiracy. Moreso Area 51 adjacent as opposed to centralized, Adaptation is actually a two-part novel followed up by Inheritance.
Dale Brown’s Dreamland
Area 51 is Dreamland in this Dale Brown model, and it’s a secret military base for the government to test out new aerospace weaponry. While there are no aliens or extraterrestrials mentioned, Dreamland checks off the boxes of the mythos surrounding Area 51: somewhere in Nevada desert, top secret government site, a big problem when discovered by outsiders. In Dreamland, the weapons testing facility is at risk of being closed down after the base is infiltrated by a spy, so it falls on Lt. Colonel William Tecumseh “Dog” Bastian to save Dreamland.
Photo via Miriam Espacio at Unsplash.
Originally published in August 2019.