May 1, 2012


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: Aliens are perfectly unified in all ways – think, say, believe and do

So, most forward thinkers believe that Humans are bad and that aliens are good. Except for a few – like David Brin ( and Stephen Hawking (, who believe that the rest of us may be stupid and aliens are dangerous.

Both viewpoints assume that aliens are perfectly unified in how they think and act. All "good" or all "bad".

So this week’s idea turns on that assumption:

David Lange has traveled with his parents for almost 18 years to every Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence conference, seminar and meeting in the US as well as hundreds of UFO conferences on the North American continent as well as several in Europe, Australia, China, Russia, Brazil and India. They’re psychologists trying to understand WHY people believe in aliens – and they have 26 books, 148 podcasts and have been on every television talk show from Springer to Meet The Press. They have DVD series and both of them regularly act as guest professors at universities all over the world, teaching on the psychology of belief.

Clara Finch’s father disappeared on her fourth birthday, when they were on a camping trip in the Rockies. Her mother has been convinced since then that lights she saw in the heights were UFOs and her husband was abducted a la Close Encounters of the Third Kind. She, too has followed the conference circuit as well as telling her story to a writer who collected alien abduction stories. The man wrote the book, Unsolved Abductions: Alien Overlords! Where Are Our Loved Ones?

They are in Roswell, New Mexico for the 75th Anniversary of the Alien Incident. So, it seems, are all the other kooks. And researchers. And scientists. As well as psychics, parapsychologists, FBI agents, CIA agents, KGB agents and InterPol. There’s a contingent of nuns and one of Buddhist monks from Tibet as well. The city has swollen from its usual population of 50,000 to over 150,000. The National Guard is there as well as several Army platoons on “exercises”.

Clara and David run into each other, take a shine and spend most of a night at a local carnival. All is pretty normal until a man walks up to them and says, “Listen, I know this is insane, but Clara, I’m your dad.” He turns to David and says, “Your parents are wrong, and now the Earth might not be ready to face the Zheel…”

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