This fascinating, unusual first-contact
tale is set simultaneously in medieval Germany and modern times. The interactions between the residents of Eifelheim and the aliens are full of wonder and interest, and the modern-day sleuthing
to crack the medieval town's mystery
is equally absorbing.
Interwoven with these investigations is the tale of what really happened in Eifelheim. Father Deitrich, the local priest, is an educated man with an interest in science and philosophy. In the shadow of the Black Death, interstellar beings crash-land in the woods nearby, and Father Dietrich and the townspeople minister to and care for these strangers in a strange land. (Tor, Oct., 320 pp., $24.95)