The Florida Project
Written by Tim Sullivan
(The page numbers come from the 1st printing,
paperback edition, published February 1985)
A secret Visitor research station in the Florida Everglades
conducts genetic experiments to create Visitor/human hybrids.
In the Florida Everglades, a young Seminole man fishing
in the glades named Billy Tiger is taken prisoner by a squad of Visitors
riding on floating silver discs.
Meanwhile, biogenetecist Dr. Sabrina Fontaine turns down a job
at Nutech to accept a mysterious but generous offer from Visigen.
She meets with the company's Dr. Morrow and he flies her in a
helicopter into the Everglades to a hidden research complex
camouflaged by a hologram of the upper canopy of Everglade
trees. But upon arrival, she is greeted by a group of Visitors and
On the Seminole reservation, Sheriff T.J. Devereaux investigates
some missing persons reports.
And professional football player Jack Stern of the Miami
Dolphins grows worried about his fiancée Sabrina's
disappearance. He goes to her house and interrupts two intruders
there who turn out to be Ham Tyler and Chris Faber. They are
there working for the CIA, investigating Dr. Fontaine's
disappearance and the possibility of Visitor activity in the
area. Tyler informs Jack that the aliens have developed an
antidote for the red dust and are performing operations nearby.
Jack decides to join them in their search, in hopes of finding
Back at the Visitor compound, Billy is undergoing the tortures
of the conversion chamber. But he persistently resists the
Visitors' commands and urgings and is removed from the
conversion program and placed in a new area where he undergoes less
torturous scientific scrutiny and testing. He is told he will be
the father of a new race.
In the morning, Tyler, Chris, and Jack drive out into the
Everglades with three canoes strapped to the roof of their
vehicle. They bump into Sheriff Devereaux
and he agrees to join them in his search for the missing
Held in separate rooms in the Visitor compound, both Sabrina and
Billy hear a horrible, half-human, wailing scream from elsewhere
in the compound. Billy thinks the voice sounds familiar somehow.
Later, he has a terrible nightmare and wakes up screaming
himself; hearing himself, he realizes the scream he heard
earlier was very much like his own voice. Sabrina meets a human
collaborator, Dr. Thorkel, who tries to convince her to help in
the genetic project taking place but she refuses, calling him a
Driving as far as they can and arriving at the swamp's edge,
Tyler and Chris each take a canoe into the swamp and Jack and
T.J. take the third, heading in different directions in search
of the Visitor presence. Jack and T.J. are ambushed by a force
of the aliens and taken to the compound as prisoners. When they
fail to meet Tyler and Chris back at the rendezvous point, the
two CIA operatives head to the nearby Seminole reservation to
ask the chief for help in the search.
Billy's brother, John, takes a canoe into the swamp to look for
him and discovers the compound but is chased by Visitors on
disks. He manages to escape on foot into the swamp, leaving his
At the research compound T.J. is placed into an arena with the
latest prototype of the Visitors' genetics project...a monster
that is part human, from the DNA of Billy, and part Visitor.
After a brief battle with the human, the hybrid creature proves
itself largely resistant to gunfire and soon kills the hapless
sheriff. Dr. Morrow considers the test a resounding success, but
the shocked Dr. Thorkel begins to rethink his allegiance.
Meanwhile, Morrow is finally able to convince Sabrina to work
for him by threatening to place Jack into the arena next. He reveals
to her that, while the current hybrid creation will be useful as
soldiers, their real goal is to create another starchild like
Elizabeth. He decides that he will be the father and Sabrina the
mother. He calls his commander, Medea, on her mothership hiding behind
the moon and tells her of their success. Hearing this, she
finally agrees to bring the ship back to Earth to pick up him
and his staff.
John finally stumbles out of the swamp with help from Tyler and
Chris. The Seminole tribe members finally agree to help fight
the Visitors. Tyler calls up Mike Donovan to fly a load of
captured Visitor laser guns in a skyfighter to their location.
But a malfunction in the skyfighter puts the delivery late and
Tyler and his rag-tag battalion are forced to move out towards
the Visitors with standard weapons, hoping that Donovan will show
up in time for them to finish the fight.
With Dr. Thorkel's help, Sabrina is able to confuse Morrow about
human mating habits long enough to allow Jack to take him
hostage. But Morrow bites him with his sharp teeth and turns the
tables back again. In revenge, he orders Jack into the arena to
do battle with the hybrid monster. Just as the creature is about
to kill Jack, Tyler and his troops arrive and launch their
attack on the compound. The hybrid is killed as the melee
Dr. Morrow communicates with Medea aboard the mothership and she
sends a mothership to fly to Earth to aid in the battle. Just
as it arrives, so does Donovan's skyfighter, with Julie, Elias,
and Willie also aboard. Jack manages to escape the compound but
Sabrina remains a hostage to Morrow. He joins Tyler and the
others and is picked up by the humans' skyfighter. As the
research compound's own skyfighters begin to lift off toward the
mothership, the humans' skyfighter joins them and, with the help
of some Visitor uniforms stored on board, they infiltrate the
mothership with the intention of rescuing Sabrina and blowing up
As the mothership retreats back into space, the humans manage to
take the command center and force the crewmembers to set the
self-destruct. Dr. Morrow enters the command center with Sabrina
and is grabbed by Jack, who promptly kills him. The humans then
try to bluff their way back to the hangar deck to escape. It
turns into a running firefight instead, but they finally make it
to the hangar and board one of the skyfighters to freedom.
When they make it back to Earth, the tribe celebrates and a crew
of exobiologists sift through the remains of the Visitor
compound for leftover research. But they all know it's only a
matter of time until the Visitors return and the war resumes.
The back cover of the book says "The alien leader Diana has
renewed her pledge to break the resistance." But Diana does not
appear in the novel at all! I wonder if the book was written
before a decision had been made about Diana's escape or capture
"The Final Battle"
and the writer used Diana but the name was later changed to
Medea (the fleet commander in the book).
In the acknowledgements, author Tim Sullivan thanks Somtow
Suchartikul, author of two other V novels,
The Alien Swordmaster
and Symphony of Terror.
On page 2, we are introduced to a piece
of Visitor technology not seen before, silver disks upon which a
person may stand and travel aloft, defying gravity. The top
surface of the disk holds the feet of the rider in place. By
turning their torso, a rider can steer the disc left and right,
up and down. The disks also appear in
The New England Resistance
by the same author.
As did the Visitors in Osaka castle in
The Alien Swordmaster,
the ones here in their Everglades hideout have mostly chosen to
go without their dermoplast human disguises, showing their true
I guess sports stars have a penchant for becoming resistance
heroes. Page 7 reveals that Jack Stern is an offensive back for
the Miami Dolphins NFL team. In
East Coast Crisis, Pete
Forsythe is a third-baseman for the New York Yankees.
Page 8 introduces Dr. Morrow. At first I wondered if he was any
relation to President Morrow (depicted in both the
V novelization and
East Coast Crisis). But
the doctor is soon revealed to be a Visitor himself.
Dr. Morrow's company is called Visigen, a clever name that must
be meant to combine and shorten "VisitorGenetics". 15 years
after this book was published, in 2000, a real biotechnology
company was started with the name
Biotechnologies, but they were bought out and closed down in
On page 8, Dr. Sabrina Fontaine waits to be picked up by Dr.
Morrow at a small airport in the town of Lantana, which is a
real town in Palm Beach County, Florida.
Page 11 reveals some Visitor hologram projection technology.
Here it is used to project an image of Everglade trees to hide
the presence of the secret research station.
On page 13, the Visitor Medea is introduced. She thinks on how some of the moons of
the large gas giants in our solar system have water, but no
industry already in place to help them drain it, hence Earth is a
more suitable choice for exploitation. It's not until nearly the
end of the book that the reader is informed that Medea is the
current fleet commander. It is not revealed if her mothership is
a new arrival or if it was one of the ones assigned to an Earth
city during the occupation. Medea later appears in Symphony of Terror
and To Conquer the
Page 15 reveals that the rule that the Visitors crewmembers on
the motherships must
wear their human disguises while on duty is still enforced in
anticipation of a return to Earth.
Much of this novel involves members of the Seminole tribe of
Native Americans and their reservation in the Everglades of
Florida. Obviously, the Seminoles are a real world Native
American tribe and the story of the Unconquered People is quite
fascinating on its own if you get a chance to
read about them. The tribe exists as both Oklahoma and Florida
Seminoles, they never surrendered to the U.S. government during
the Indian Wars, and they counted among their members
African-Americans who escaped slavery in the south.
On page 22, Jack has called Coach Shula for a couple days leave
from the Dolphins. Don Shula really was the coach of the Miami
Dolphins at the time of this story.
Also on page 22, the town Jack is in is referred to as Boca
Blanca ("white mouth" in Spanish), which is also known as "Silicon
Beach." As far as I can tell, there is no town of Boca Blanca in
Florida or a place known as Silicon Beach at the time. In recent
times, there are reports of Florida being interested in
developing a "Silicon Beach" region in the state, i.e. a center
of software and computer design, similar to Silicon Valley in
On page 23, Jack gets on Interstate 95. This is a real
interstate running north from Miami all the way up the eastern
seaboard, ending in northern Maine.
On page 27, Ham Tyler reveals that he and Chris Faber are
working for the CIA.
Though depicted as working for the CIA here,
"Liberation Day" reveals that
his own security agency
right after V-day; possibly Tyler's company was simply
contracted by the CIA for the operation.
Also on page 27, Tyler says the Visitors are 800 years ahead of
us technologically. How did he come up with that figure? Is it
common knowledge from the occupation? Is it an estimate provided
by his CIA connections?
On page 37, the conversion chamber which Billy is subjected to
is described like the one seen in the episode
"The Masterpiece", with a blue
beam spinning around him. This indicates it is a real conversion
chamber, unlike the makeshift chambers used by Lady Murasaki in
The Alien Swordmaster.
On page 41, our heroes drive on a stretch of road called
Alligator Alley. This is the actual nickname of the Everglades
Parkway which runs east-west through the Florida Everglades.
On page 42, after having agreed to work with Tyler and Chris,
Jack begins to wonder if they are actually a couple of lunatics
who never stopped fighting the war after the Visitors left. He
thinks of such cases as members of the Irish Republican Army who
kept fighting even after the truce with the U.K. and of Jesse
James who kept fighting for the Confederacy long after its
surrender to the U.S. government. These are, of course, both
real world cases of militants continuing to fight even after the
official cessation of hostilities.
On page 56, the Visitors use a larger version of the
anti-gravity disks which has a sleep-ray type gun mounted to it.
On page 65, Tyler warns Chief Wooster that the Visitors are
centuries ahead of us technologically and has probably already
developed an antitoxin as evidenced by their presence in the
swamp. He also mentions their cure for cancer. Does he know they
really have such a cure? The novel
The Pursuit of Diana
reveals that the Visitors never got around to giving Earth the
On page 71, Jack witnesses the Visitors using an anti-grav ray
that is able to move an uncontained volume of water with an
alligator in it from a holding tank and out of the room. This is
a piece of technology never seen in the series.
Page 72 mentions the Visitor called Dr. Morrow has a piece of
Visitor artwork, a revolving light sculpture that changes hues,
in his quarters at the research compound.
Page 73 describes Dr. Morrow laughing, "a rasping, hissing sound
that was totally nonhuman." This is different than the
description of Visitor laughter in
The Alien Swordmaster,
a "raucous hooting." Obviously there could be different forms
and sounds of laughter among the Visitors just as there is among
Page 80 describes the human/Visitor hybrid raised at the
compound. It is 8 or 9 feet tall, has huge talons on it hands,
hide thick and scaly like armor plating. It has a long snout
like a gator but a human-sized cranium and human-looking eyes.
And an 8-foot long tail. Later, Dr. Morrow tells Thorkel that
they added a molecular density to the mix that makes the
and able to deflect projectiles. From the description of the
snout and tail, it sounds like they must have added alligator
DNA to the mix as well.
Page 87 introduces a tripod-mounted globular device which turns
out to be a portable tractor/repulsor beam.
Throughout the novel the public does not seem to be aware of
other enclaves of Visitors recently discovered on Earth
post-V-day (most notably the Chicago and Japan enclaves from
The Chicago Conversion
The Alien Swordmaster).
Are the world governments generally keeping the discovery of
ongoing Visitor activity secret?
Page 97 introduces a Visitor research device that projects a
holographic image of cells, genes, or other studied materials
which can be manipulated, color-coded, labeled, etc.
On page 99, Dr. Morrow reveals that his group has not been
completely successful in developing an antitoxin to the red dust
bacteria but they have synthesized a virus that temporarily
holds the bacteria at bay. Since we see that the compound has
communication with the hidden fleet, why didn't Dr. Morrow
transmit their procedure for creating the synthetic virus so
that all Visitors can make use of it as needed? We never hear
about the virus again after this book.
Also on page 99, Sabrina sees the compound's hybrid maternity
ward, where half-human, half-Visitor fetuses float in artificial
wombs. The fetuses she sees look either human or Visitor with a
few external traits of each other physically present on their bodies.
On page 100, Dr. Morrow reveals his lab is trying to create
another starchild like Elizabeth.
Several times in the book Dr. Morrow speaks the Visitor language
while in his human disguise without tearing the dermoplast skin
as happened in the V
East Coast Crisis. It
may be possible for them to speak their language without damage
to the dermoplast if they are careful in how they work their
jaws when they speak.
On page 103, Dr. Morrow asks Dr. Thorkel to explain to Sabrina
attraction to her. Thorkel compares the
situation to himself as John Alden and Morrow as Captain Miles
Standish. Alden and Standish came to America in 1620 with the
Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower and the legend goes that, after
his wife died, Captain Standish sent Alden to ask one Priscilla
Mullins and her family for permission to visit her. Alden
carried out the request, though he was attracted to her as well
and the two men were soon in competition for her love (Alden
eventually won out). The triangle was made famous by Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow's 1858 poem The Courtship of Miles
Standish. The comparison here though seems tenuous at best
and there is no indication in the novel that Dr. Thorkel has an
amorous interest in Sabrina.
Also on page 103, Dr. Thorkel ponders the inclination shown by
many Visitors to be attracted to humans. He questions whether
they have some racial inferiority complex or perhaps are partly
mammalian themselves? If part mammal, he realizes that may
partly explain how Elizabeth was conceived.
When he hears about the Visitor compound in the Everglades on
page 104, Elias jokes, "I'll be damned. Those Visitors are
harder to get rid of than cockroaches." This may also indicate a
knowledge on his part of the assorted post-V-day Visitor
enclaves seen in the novels.
Page 104 also reveals that the L.A. resistance has a cache of
captured alien weapons from assorted skirmishes in a warehouse.
Has this cache been kept secret from the government? Or do they
continue to act on Visitor incursions, as in this case, with
government knowledge? Given all the converts who were part of
the human world governments, it might make sense for resistance
groups to keep some things secret!
Discussing the Florida situation on page 105, Elias comments
that if the Visitor enclave is still working at their research
compound in the Everglades, they must be expecting their forces
to eventually return en masse. He goes on to say, "Most people
are starting to think we've seen the last of 'em. Maybe this
will wake 'em up." This seems to indicate that the former
resistance members assume the Visitors will be back at some
When Dr. Morrow outlines to Medea his plan to mate with Sabrina Fontaine, she says, "...I have tasted the fruits of Earthly
love, and I know how intoxicating a human can be." This
would seem to indicate that she was present during the Visitors
first invasion of Earth and not a new arrival.
On page 104, John Tiger is trying to convince his people of the
Seminole nation to wait for the delivery of Visitor weapons to
them by L.A. resistance members before attacking the alien
compound. He points out the tragedy of Native Americans fighting
against superior weapons during wars with the white man which
led to the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears was the relocation
of Native American tribes (including the Seminole) to the Indian
Territory of Oklahoma. The name comes from a quote by the
Choctaw chief to the Arkansas Gazette that the
relocation was a "trail of tears and death."
On page 113, Dr. Thorkel ponders the differences in human and Visitor
psychology. He believes humans have much more capacity for
change and growth than the Visitors, noting that the Visitor Dr.
Morrow is not able to conceive that Thorkel himself would change
his allegiance after seeing the sheriff butchered by the
hybrid monster in the arena.
Page 115 reveals that Willie has knowledge of repairing
Page 116 reveals that the Visitors have faster-than-light
communication capabilities. Here, Medea has just completed an
FTL communication with the Leader. This would seem to contradict
indications in some stories (like
The Pursuit of Diana)
that communication with the homeworld would take over 8 years
one way. Or, perhaps, the Leader is closer than that, on his way
to Earth? The Leader does allegedly arrive at Earth in the final
episode of the weekly series, "The
Page 121 reveals that Sirians bred for military duty do not have
names. Page 135 states that the two condemned soldiers here were
created in the same lab; this implies that many Sirian soldiers
are not bred in the normal manner even for Sirians and are
probably genetically engineered in an attempt to produce the best
Also on page 121, one of the condemned Visitor soldiers uses his
tongue to grab a mosquito out of the air for a snack.
On page 122, Dr. Morrow is described as making a sound much like
human laughter. It almost seems as if Morrow has become obsessed
with human behavior. He remains in human disguise through most
of the novel, whereas his cohorts in the compound do not; he is
attracted to a human female, Dr. Sabrina Fontaine; and he begins
to adopt human laughter. And on page 123, he thinks of the two
condemned Visitor soldiers as "cowering salamanders" rather than
in his own alien terms.
When Sabrina tells Dr. Morrow of the story of the serpent in the
Garden of Eden on page 124, he tells her the Visitors' own myth
of a race of apelike creatures at the beginning of time who
ruled over their world and subjugated the reptilians, "stirring
resentment and a desire for vengeance." This is similar to the
myth told by Fieh Chan in the novel
The Alien Swordmaster.
On page 125, Sabrina is using Morrow's ignorance of human mating
rituals to help get her fiancé, Jack, free. She says that a
woman must be introduced to a new partner by her former lover,
telling Morrow it will be "...a beautiful experience for the
three of us...you, me--and Jack." I laughed aloud at the
3rd-person narrative that follows next: For a
moment Dr. Morrow couldn't believe his earholes.
Page 141 states that Morrow's tongue is a foot long. What is the
variation in tongue length among Visitor individuals? A scene in
The Alien Swordmaster
(page 65) seems as if Lady Murasaki's tongue was somewhat longer
On page 167 Morrow refers to Julie as Dr. Parrish. At the
beginning of V, in
"Arrival", Julie is still only a second-year medical
student. Though by the time of
"Liberation Day", the first episode of the weekly series, she
is now depicted as being a full doctor. Perhaps her work with
the hybrid virus in the resistance has aided her in gaining her
PhD quickly in the time between the
"The Final Battle" and this
When, on pages 167-168, Dr. Morrow tells the human resistance
members of his plans to create a new starchild with powers for
the Visitors to use against Earth, Donovan says, "The child can
never hold that kind of power without the Preta-na-ma
and the Preta-na-ma teaches peace." How has Donovan
learned about the teachings of Preta-na-ma and its
potential influence on the starchild? Who says that only the
Preta-na-ma can harness the starchild power? Has he learned
of some prophecies of the Preta-na-ma or Zon religions
from the archives of the captured L.A. mothership or from
Visitors left behind after V-day? In the weekly series episode
"Dreadnought", Willie seems to have some knowledge of the Preta-na-ma
religion (or may even be a follower of it), so perhaps he has
described the religion to Donovan.
Page 169 seems to indicate that every mothership has the
doomsday weapon built in and the humans force the Visitor
crewmembers of the mothership that had been sent to rescue the
members of the research compound to set it after they start
travelling back into space. Previous sources have indicated that
only one ship in any invasion fleet has this capability.
Furthermore, only the highest-ranked personnel were said to have
the capability of arming it. For purposes of continuity, it might
be more reasonable to think of the self-destruct used here as a
smaller detonation that destroys only the ship itself and not
capable of dooming an entire planet.
Through the entire book, no mention is made of the Visitors'
reverberating voices, including a scene in which Dr. Morrow is
able to fool Sabrina into thinking he is human when he picks her
up at the Lantana airport....until page 173 when we suddenly get,
"Stop them!" a strident reptilian voice rasped. Since the Visitors' voice
reverberation has disappeared without comment on the weekly
series, perhaps it could be explained that they have invented a
device to make them sound human while in disguise. Which would
be reasonable to think except why would they bother at this point?
Humanity already knows they are lizards and the Visitors aren't
trying to hide their conquering intentions at this point. Of
course, you then also have to ask why the Visitors continue to
disguise themselves as human-looking at all?
Page 178 says that a team of exobiologists is currently going
through the wreckage of the Visitor research compound.
Presumably Tyler would have called it in to the CIA and they
sent a government-sponsored team to do this.