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alien legion poster frank cirocco signed

In the late 1980s, my prize possession may well have been my Alien Legion poster. I don’t recall what happened to it. You couldn’t just find it anywhere to replace it, either — not for many years. Then, someone invented the glorious Internet for the express purpose of helping me find it in minutes. I got a brand new one, signed, a couple of years ago.

The poster has a definite irony that might not be immediately apparent unless you know the book. In the stories, we see how life in the Legion continuously borders on nightmare. Yes, the Legionnaires do experience the “wonders of the outerworlds”: brutal, alien environments only slightly less dangerous than the beings who inhabit them, ravaged by war, and sacrificed to politics.

Reviled and under fire everywhere they go, Legionnaires struggle to hold onto their sanity. Their stories explore what kind of person it takes to survive, contrasting Jugger’s ruthless amorality with Torrie’s well-intentioned idealism. The Legionnaires indeed see the wonders of the outerworlds — and it’s a wonder any of them survive.

Lesson: Don’t believe the recruitment poster. It’s brutal out there.