I haven't read the book yet, and so I can't say for myself what this book is or isn't, but reading the reviews on Amazon, it doesn't look good.
Apparently, entire plot lines have vanished from the original story.
Aside from characters in the 'bastardized' V:Final Battle (that's Johnson's word not mine) not present because they weren't in the original Miniseries show...
The "Anne Frank" character and family are reportedly missing from this 'sequel.' Along with many other characters which should probably be in this book, or at least referenced, or whose stories should be told in reflection. The reviews say they are not.
V was a cool show, I watched every single episode, the Final Battle, etc. It wasn't the best show on TV, and neither is Earth Final Conflict, but there are things in them which, besides the B-Movie cheesyness, are fascinating.
Earth Final Conflict went downhill when they got rid of the main character(never a good move).
They turned away completely from a conspiracy of bad aliens, to this whole rediculous Star Trek weirdness, and eventually making the first two seasons pointless to have watched, which is perhaps why they never came out with them on DVD, even though you have to watch them to see where many of the later characters come from. The show started out as a kind of anti-fascist premise, with a dark conspiracy, but later turned villains into heroes, with a kind of neo-fascist spin. Neonazi Runes were explained to be ancient alien religious symbols of power, and blah blah blah, [the concept of having two fascist villains 'connect romantically over a nazi symbol is well, abominable] it gets really bad, and kind of disturbing in a sick way. It veers far from the first season which was really quite awesome. Somebody got control of the show, even Gene Roddenberry's son said he stopped watching the show after the second season, and said it was total crap...but watch the first season and it resonates with the immediate aftermath of 9-11, in which America turns vicious, adopting policies the nazis could only dream of.
From the reviews I've read, this new V Novel sounds a lot like he's barrowed heavily from Star Trek and Earth Final Conflict, adding lesbian scenes(like Star Trek) and new races of aliens (Earth Final Conflict) and even more crap from Alien Nation. This with ignoring or writing out favorite characters is seriously a bad move.
Perhaps its a good thing Johnson didn't get control of V:The Final Battle, who knows what idiocy from Alien Nation would have showed up. I look back at the Series, and Star Child notwithstanding, it really wasn't so bad, and it ended better than Earth Final Conflict.
Maybe when writing a science fiction series about alien invaders(as opposed to a one shot film like "They Live") there is a tendency to start making the aliens "more human" instead of straight villains because they get bored with the 'black and white' good vs. evil narrative. This is a big mistake. Once you introduce them as fascists, even if a few of them are reluctant to follow their fascist leaders, as soon as you make them go back and forth, so you can try to avoid making them seem totally wooden and hollow, you lose your original subtext.
The 'fifth column' rebels act as redeemers of the villainous class of aliens, and they either die or end up going their own way, totally away. (In Strange Invaders for example, the mother of their 'Star Child' sacrifices herself to save them). Once you cross the line and start making these villains more human, you miss the point of having "aliens" as your villains in the first place. This is why I don't like Star Trek. There are some good episodes in the original series when aliens represent different types of "us," but they aren't introduced as demons.
The idea of having aliens, mysterious creatures invade us, is to personify evil, we slowly may begin to recognize traits in the aliens as our own traits, but we must be distanced initially and repulsed, the 'alien' repulses us first and foremost, and acts on our subconscious. Going too far by making these mysterious aliens with powers beyond our imagination, like ordinary people, with ordinary relationship problems, and mundane political dilemmas is completely ridiculous, and is why these things fail.
This is what happened to Earth Final Conflict, only it got really bad, it started to appeal to the latent fascism of the audience...a sad direction, when the original premise was quite clear, but this is simply a case of advertisers and studio executives taking over the show.
Here we have the original creator of V, messing up his own story (possibly, I haven't read it yet), and no matter how cheesy the TV series got, it stayed with the original premise that the Reptiles were pretty much evil, and while there were a few lizards who wanted out, and rebelled, it maintained the resistance movement, and the storyline of the underground and the political drama of its maneuvering. The 'Star Child' was B-movie cheesy, but still maintained a distance within the drama of the human beings...she goes away at the end. The aliens are not imagined to 'make nice' and stay in the end...their destiny isn't ours, they aren't 'us.'
Alien Nation didn't interest me because its 'racial' subtext was almost insulting. To present aliens as 'another race' which needs to be tolerated by 'us' as some sort of allegory to racial problems in America is kind of, well, icky and juvenile. The movie was funny, but the series was lame as hell. (Sad to say, Earth Final Conflict barrowed the 'alien mutation into a demon' crap from Alien Nation.)
I say Alien Nation is fine, it can be humorous, entertaining, but really really bad, especially when it really goes over the top by trying to deal with race relations...its bordering on mental illness...sorry Ken Johnson... You can make a film like that, but why bother? Take "Enemy Mine" where we have Dennis Quaid and Louis Gosset Jr. A human and a reptile-alien played by a black guy. Somewhat disturbing once again to try to deal with racial issues by portraying them as 'white guys' and 'aliens.' The problem with this movie is that not only is it a remake of a much better, and truly Great film starring Tochiro Mifune and Lee Marvin, "HELL IN THE PACIFIC," but the original film dealt with the same issues without aliens. It was WWII, and it was American vs. Japanese, true blue. It was better because it was truer to life. No aliens were needed to replace the Japanese soldier. No aliens were necessary, and the choice to make it an alien movie was really kind of disturbing. Tochiro Mifune is not an ugly animalistic 'jap,' he's quite a fine looking man, who has been raised in a different culture...Louis Gossett Jr, is also a fine looking man, who does not need to be represented as an ulgy alien fiend with 'a heart of gold.' Is this how we are supposed to deal with race and cultural differences? I don't see non-white people as 'ugly monsters whom I just need to understand, and tolerate,' and to represent this situation as this is terrible.
This is why the new Star Trek series is abominable. After the first Star Trek Series, all the Star Treks were operating in this same realm as I just described above. Fascist Klingons were to be respected as 'warriors' and Romulans (Roman Fascist aliens) became some sort of asian-like 'misguided racial mutants of vulcans.' Some weird shit.
George Lucas shows his own latent racism and we almost don't even need to include his outrageous stereotypes of chinese aliens in Phantom Menace with chinese accents, and 'stepinfetchit' rastafarian aliens like Jar Jar Binks. He doesn't ask us to tolerate these baffoonish stereotypes, he wants us to see them as 'pathetic life forms,' even though in all reality every character in Star Wars is a person, he promotes racism within a ridiculous framework of asking us to have tolerance towards characters who are persecuted for what they are, like C3P0 in the bar. He's got problems.
In "V" the aliens do not represent another race of humans. They are a side of us that is supposed to be evil, always evil. They're reptiles, they're bad, they eat us, they're fascists, they are the worst of us, all races of us, no races of us, because there is only us: THE HUMAN RACE.
The reptiles are repulsive because they're mean and evil, the repulsive side of us, our potential. It has nothing to do with different races, but once you go there, you've gotten into a mess. To turn and make it about 'good races' and 'bad races' is another mess, just as bad as making it about races at all. If you venture away from the 'science fiction' allegory and into other alleys that will never integrate with your original allegorical premise, you're screwed, and you start creating madness. (Earth Final Conflict).
The importance in maintaining your allegorical origin with this kind of sci-fi is lost to almost every television series since V. Battlestar Galactica the Remake is a total travesty, and all these other space shows are the same. They're boring and functionless because they can't focus on any reason for them being science fiction in the first place. (Unless they are nothing but total PROPAGANDA)If you want to do dramas about racism, do it in a non-science fiction way, like any one of the courtroom legal dramas that exist. Do it in a standard action adventure show that has nothing to do with sci-fi.
Play games with racial problems in intergalactic fiction, and you're playing with fire. There are no alien races, we never met any, UFO-nut arguments aside, there are no intergalactic federations, there is only US, and WE need to get along here without all this other shit making us believe people in this world are ALIEN races.
Heinrich Himmler believed that Jews were an alien race(no shit, he really did, he wrote about it), and look what the hell he and his kind did.
"Aliens" should never stand in for representing real human ethnicities, ever. If we can't deal with our differences without resorting to outlandish metaphors, then we've got some real sick problems. If we can't look at Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Arabs, Indians, Whites, etc without thinking of aliens, or weird creatures, and then force ourselves to watch science fiction in order to deal with it, we have more serious problems than I can even tell you.
Alien creatures, like any kind of pre-UFO science fiction, monsters, etc, can easily represent human beings, but its what represents our INSIDE, not our outside. A diabolical alien fiend may in fact stand in for any one of us, and especially our potential, but let us cease this association with cultures. "Alien cultures" perhaps when contemplated by Carl Sagan when he was alive might be interesting, but no culture on earth is truly alien, because in the end we are all from earth. We're not going to be able to hide from every culture that is here, and ultimately when viewed there is something commonly human about all of them.
Yeah we're different, we certainly are, but hell, we're not THAT different.
The aliens in us, is when we are INHUMAN. That's the point folks, and how inhuman we ALL can be, to eachother, no matter where we come from or what we look like. We truly can become monsters, and it has nothing to do with what language we speak. Monsters from the blackness of space is an eeire and mysterious and perfect way of depicting evil, there is a dark side to all of us, and evil IS alien, it is nonhuman, it is not good potential for us, it is something we must ward off like giant monster bugs, something we must be vigilant about, something we must all join together in defeating, and by associating and allocating a monster's face to a jackbooted thug, we might recognize it in the future, because the nazi of this kind may not always be German in a future time, he could be anybody...anywhere...even HERE.