I usually don’t like Christmas stories. Or Christmas. And especially not Christmas carols. But I do like choral music. Which probably goes a long way toward explaining why like “All Seated On The Ground,” by Connie Willis so much. It begins in the middle of the frenzy of the “holiday season,” when six aliens come to Denver and do nothing. Well, not quite nothing. They glare.
Meg Yates, a reporter and columnist, gets roped into the investigation after all the “experts” have left the investigative committee. Just about all who remain are Dr. Wakamura, who keeps spraying the aliens with scents; Dr. Morthman, who never listens; and Reverend Thresher, who loudly leaps to the obvious conclusion when the aliens finally respond to a Christmas carol.
As she and the leader of a local chorus, Calvin Ledbetter, struggle to figure out what is going on, they also have to listen to the insane number of Christmas carols, from “Silent Night” to (my favorite)”Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” The innumerable threads of multiple absurdities come to a head at the All-City Holiday Ecumenical Sing, or ACHES.
Very funny, as frenetic as the holiday(s) it lampoons.
Next: The House Beyond Your Sky