Deborah Pfeiffer, BAR, 12/11/97
If anyone had suggested to me that I would
have been moved and enthralled by a fictional alien encounter, I
would never have believed it, but there you have it. Go figure...
I especially enjoyed the ways these dykes pitched in to help one
another. It reminded me of the early days of the lesbian nation,
when we still believed in pulling together. Adams made me a believer
in this close encounter. Night Vision is funny, suspenseful,
and romantic--a real pleasure to read and recommend.
Mystery Buff Magazine, April 1998
There's no murder to solve, but that doesn't
mean it's not mysterious... The premise for the story is interesting
and imaginative. The friendship and humor that develops as the group
of women search for solutions is refreshing!
Bay Area Reporter, 12/18/97
Bibliophile's Bounty -- Night Vision,
Laura Adams -- Top Five of the year!
Lesbian Review of Books, Vol IV, No. 4,
Initially, I despaired of dreams being used
yet again as a plot device to reveal the fears and anxieties of
the conflicted protagonist. But in the case of Night Vision, the
dreams really are an integral part of the plot development, being
the means of communication between alien and human.
Yes, an alien visitor, Sirena, makes communication
with the lesbian nation, embodied in the persona of Julia Madison,
an IRS worker in Fresno. This sci-fi-ish story can be classified
as speculative fiction set in present time.
At first look, okay, another alien visitor
visits earth only to be misunderstood, tortured, and hounded to
death. But in the skillful hands of Laura Adams, the alien's visit
becomes an inspired mechanism for an engrossing tale that is also
a delightful romp among the foibles of the lesbian nation.
When Julia Madison consults a therapist
about her strange nocturnal symptoms from Sirena's communications,
we get a delicious poke at the talking cure. "I wasn't sure
my budget could handle a therapist not determined to cure me"
Regarding Berkeley and why she moved to
Fresno, Julia reports "dating too many women who always talked
about getting in touch with their feelings but never did until they
were screaming at me" (45).
Adams makes good use of the California Central
Valley setting, invoking the maddening winds known as the Santa
Anas to set mood and influence character development. The construction
of the conclusion exhibits another deft touch of the writer's art
in a chilling brush with reality that lends veracity.
But where author Adams really shines is
what she does for love. The sex scenes are out of this world. Sex
scenes to die for. They are not the usual Naiad formula romance
that often reads like a how-to-do-it manual, (although instruction
certainly has its value and usefulness). The first consists of compression
images of memory and sex all rolled into one experience: "The
scene expanded until I was the center of it ... I dropped into my
most sensuous moments, the sound of moans and gasps, ooing and begging
all around me...I tried to shut off the screen, but...she...was
spilling my memories of sex and orgasms and foreplay. (58)
The next one manages to top even that with an inventive ménage.
It involves past memory of Maddy's former lover Mari, the alien
Sirena, and Maddy's present human lover, J.T. Maddy not only experiences
the other three but also can have mirrored back to her what they
are experiencing. Adams manages to simulate a first-time experience
yet accompanies it with the unabashed pleasure of multiple experiences.
"J.T. stirred next to me a while later. She kissed my shoulder
and then nibbled my ear. "Nice to share a dream with you."
I smiled, but was glad she couldn't see me blushing. For me it had
practically been an orgy with memories of Mari mixing J.T. in the
here and now--and the awareness of another presence, watching and
enjoying vicariously. (62)
Altogether, this is a fine tale well
told. Laura Adams ... is an able practitioner of the writer's craft.