Anton Eine

The Cleansing

Translated by Cory Klingsporn

Advanced aliens have arrived to destroy any life on Earth and all the traces of our existence. Their mission is to wipe out any life in our Universe.

While unsuspecting humankind is not aware of deadly menace, alien invaders analyze intelligence information and get ready to initiate the cleansing protocol. Suddenly some of the data gathered disturbs those powerful unimpassioned aliens.


Review by Sean Talbot of

February 02 2019

Thank you to the author Anton Eine for the advanced readers copy.

The story was a very interesting short story. It deals with a race who seem to be on a mission to destroy every other race.

The story resonates well and I can see this being made into a serial of short stories. It has a lot of potential and I can see a lot that would work very well as a longer story arc.

While there was no real characters that you really meet it shows so much depth and i want more as I want to know what caused this race to become exterminators.

I do like the way this was written as it shows growth can come and there is room to make more from this and even go back historically.

A very good read and hope to see more from this author.

Review by Linda Hill of

February 12 2019

Aliens arrive to ‘cleanse’ Earth of any life.

There’s a really interesting structure to The Cleansing as it is written entirely in dialogue so that it feels quite futuristic and I think it would translate extremely well into a radio play. Equally, it would support a longer narrative with more description and development too as it is an interesting concept.

There’s little character development or conventional setting as befits the structure of the writing, but what is fascinating is the exploration of themes and concepts in The Cleansing. I thought the presentation of life on Earth as a kind of computer simulation was very interesting and the references to both God as a ‘Pre-Eternal creator’ alongside science as the rationale for Earth lead to some though-provoking ideas.

I felt we could learn a lot from The Cleansing. There is a clear message that humanity does not learn from its mistakes in history. The aliens contemplating whether they should eliminate Earth give a salutary lesson that humans are not as important here on earth as they might believe.

I don’t read science-fiction usually, but I did enjoy Anton Eine’s The Cleansing. It makes a great read for a lunchtime break or as a palette cleanser between other genres and I recommend others give it a try.

Review by Georgia Rose of Rosie’s Book Review Team

February 24 2019

I chose to read The Cleansing, a short story by Anton Eine, as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I received a copy from the author but this does not alter my review in anyway.

An outsiders view of our world makes for interesting reading, and this is what this story is all about. Only 18 pages long the story is told from the viewpoint of the occupants of some sort of spacecraft whose mission appears to be to cleanse planets of inhabitants that these occupants consider to be debris.

Much in this tale was of interest to me. The fact that it is entirely written as dialogue between two individuals, with not one dialogue tag. And that I found myself smiling on occasion as I recognised descriptions contained in the data received about our world that clearly perplexed the onlookers. When you look at it from their point of view, yes, it is all a little baffling.

“I don’t even understand the point of them saving all these banal moments from individuals’ day-to-day lives. It seems pointless.”

So true. Anyway, this is an enjoyable, if short, tale and I note it is a translation, from what I’m not sure… maybe not a language currently on this planet? Recommended for a quick read.

Review by Mai Taylor of Mai's Musings

February 28 2019

I know the blurb sounds like standard end of the world, alien invasion fare, but what really struck me about this short story was the style in which it was written. Told entirely through the dialogue between the mysterious occupants of a space craft that is travelling the universe cleansing it of all life forms, the total absence of narrative or description allowed my imagination to run wild. Even without knowing anything about any of the characters other than their rank or job title, I found that each of them had a distinctive voice and personality – something that is not easy to achieve in just eighteen pages! Just through the way they communicated with each other, and through their observations of Earth, I was able to build my own image of the appearance of the characters and their space craft, and I even started imagining the back story to their mission. I am not sure that a story told purely through dialogue would work in a full length novel, but I really enjoyed it in this short story.

I will leave you to discover the finer details yourself, but I must tell you that there were a few observations made by the characters that, when they clicked in my head what it was they were seeing, really made me chuckle.

If you are looking for a fun, quick read between heavier novels, fancy dabbling in sci-fi, or want to try a writing style that I know I haven’t come across before, this book is definitely worth a read.

Review by Terry Tyler of Terry Tyler Book Reviews

March 08 2019

I liked this story – it’s clever and well written. Unusual, too – it consists only of dialogue, with no dialogue tags, between two beings (aliens) in a space ship, many miles from our galaxy.

The aliens’ mission is to wipe out any life on Earth, but as they look at humankind through the medium of TV and films, they become increasingly intrigued by us – and how we (they think) fight to survive pandemics, invasion, wars, all manner of natural disasters; they’re especially interested in the way we have documented our history in intricate detail.

The story held my interest all the way through; it ticked boxes from imaginative to funny, and I thought the chosen method of execution, ie the dialogue, was inspired.

Review by Beth Hitchman of

March 25 2019

Anton Eine’s ‘The Cleansing’ is a short story about an alien race on a mission to destroy an unknown planet. It is difficult to discuss the characters involved in this text as it is entirely dialogue and doesn’t contain any dialogue tags. The characters themselves are addressed by their occupation, Commander being the main character.

The Commander is the decision maker on board, expressing opinions and potential resolutions for issues brought up by the Analyst and the Navigator. The mission of this ship is to cleanse all life. We enter their mission as they are scanning a planet and deciding how to cleanse it. Despite this being a short story Eine has managed to give each of his characters unique voices and concerns, I was fascinated by their way of thinking and the information they divulged throughout the text.

Eine has made an interesting decision in his writing style by experimenting with conversation. He has managed to create a realistic dialogue that manages to feed the reader bits of information without it seeming like a history lesson. There are elements of mystery and parallels that the reader can piece together as they progress through the story. The author manages to touch on themes like the importance of learning from history, there are also religious sentiments within the story and a unique perspective on the way that individuals store information.

I really enjoyed reading this short story, it was interesting to look at a planet and its history through another race’s eyes. I think this book is an excellent social commentary. The Cleansing is worth a read as it celebrates history and stories while presenting a warning about self-destructive nature. It was easy to read, despite the lack of dialogue tags and I appreciate the experimentation with this style of writing.

While I cannot imagine a story in this style working for a full novel, it was perfect for this delightful piece of literature. It provides an enjoyable reading experience and a valuable lesson to writers that sometimes the rules of writing need to be bent. The storytelling was strong and, I found myself wishing it was a little longer, I would’ve enjoyed learning more about the alien race and why they were on a mission to cleanse other planets. This information, however, would’ve bogged down the book with too many details making it more difficult to read. I would be interested in reading a collection of short stories following these characters! Eine is a creative rule breaker whose work I will be following in the future.

Read excerpt

“Commander, we’ve received data from our intelligence probes.”

“Put it on the main viewer and give your report, Analyst.”

“It’s a poorly developed, organic, technological civilization. Third level. Primitive weaponry, but in significant quantities. No orbital defenses. No immediate threats to us. Life is concentrated only on the third planet from the star. There are a few individuals orbiting the planet. I recommend a simple cleanup protocol.”

“Recommendation accepted, Analyst. Begin sample collection and scanning. Cleaner, prepare weapons systems for a complete cleanup.”

“Understood, Commander.”

“Navigator, begin preparations for our next destination. We’ll be done here quickly.”

“Will do, Commander.”

“Analyst, report when ready. The Cleaner will wipe out all traces of life in this system.”

“Aye, Commander. However the analyzer is giving me some strange results. I think you’ll want to see this. I’ll put it on the main viewer. It looks like things have gotten pretty serious on this planet. It has a rich history. Full of disasters, catastrophes.”

“It does look strange, yes. I agree with you, Analyst.”

“By the look of these records, this is hardly the first civilization on the planet. It looks like life here is often destroyed, only to be born again. So many cycles, too. It’s surprising. I don’t know of any other worlds where the dominant species has so often destroyed itself, somehow survived, flourished again, and then exterminated itself once more.”

“Yes, I see. Perhaps this is a particularly vicious race, one fixated on self-destruction. The imperfection of organic life forms.”

“I don’t know, Commander. Judging by these records, more often than not, they were the causes of the catastrophes that led to the fall of each wave of civilization. But there have been other causes, too. Asteroids from outer space, attacks from other races.”