July 4, 2012


(The Daughter is leaving for New Zealand in a few hours, so my timetable is screwy right now. Sorry for the missed day...) 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: all major historical figures are aliens or work with aliens

This is a bit of a twist, but with just the right twig, THIS might happen:

Rain Li is a Canadian studying in the US – Bemidji State University to be exact.

Boston Fournier is also Canadian, though he’s an exchange student from Quebec studying at the University of Minnesota.

At a Junior Student Research Paper Conference hosted at the U, they meet as the news breaks that not only do people think that Obama would handle an alien invasion better than presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, there is evidence that SOMETHING is happening on the surface of Titan (http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/underground-sea-liquid-discovered-saturns-moon-titan) as Cassini has reported massive geysers of ice and water seemingly exploding at random from the surface of the moon.

With elections only a few months away, political pundits and journalists alike begin to speculate. Of course, the WEEKLY WORLD NEWS – The Only Reliable Source Of News On Earth –  reported that, like HG Well’s novel, WAR OF THE WORLDS…

“…with the amazing intelligence of a huge outbreak of incandescent gas upon the planet. It had occurred towards midnight of the twelfth; and the spectroscope, to which he had at once resorted, indicated a mass of flaming gas, chiefly hydrogen, moving with an enormous velocity towards this earth. This jet of fire had become invisible about a quarter past twelve. He compared it to a colossal puff of flame suddenly and violently squirted out of the planet, ‘as flaming gases rushed out of a gun.’” (Chapter 1)

Neither one paid it much heed, but certain quarters began to trumpet the end of the world; the end of the world as we know it; the dawn of a new age; the dawn of The New Age; proof that We Are Not Alone and proof that the invasion of Earth was drawing nigh…

Along among the delegates, Rain and Boston were the only Canadians (and Boston considered himself the only REAL Canadien), and really didn’t much care about the Americans, their election or whether Obama or Romney would be a better “Alien Hunter” (though Rain confided to Boston in French that she thought Barack Obama: Alien Hunter had a better ring to it than Mitt Romney: Alien Hunter). They were discovering each other.
It’s just that Rain accidentally got a text not meant for her, from Boston to one of his friends that read, “She’s just an American in Canadian drag. Homely at that. She’d never be willing to crack a fingernail in our cause…”

Cause? What cause? Did it have anything to do with the story buried in Section C of StarTribune.com about a recent uptick in the number of terroristic threats by the old mouvement national liberation quebec? Who was this kid, anyway and what had she gotten herself involved with?

And what about the cluster of weird lights in the sky in the direction of the bright, star-like object that Boston pointed out was Saturn?

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