Tag Archives: science fiction

1968. Planet of Flowers

(This is the seventh and final Science Faction story in Science Faction Weak).

Floranarcissus was known on earth as “The Planet of the Flowers”. Space travellers had landed on Floranarcissus and taken photographs. Of course no one was permitted to take seeds or cuttings as it was forbidden by interplanetary law. Introduced flora could create problems for the host planet. It was best to keep flora on the planet where it had evolved. But Floranarcissus! Oh goodness me! The flowers were unbelievable.

“Seeing them in the real is nothing like the photographs,” said Barbara Cheesebrick, one of the last astronauts to have visited Floranarcissus. “The flowers are a million times more spectacular. That is because Floranarcissus is an unspoilt planet. There are no intelligent beings to mess things up. The flowers simply evolved lovelier and lovelier over tens of thousands of years.”

There came a time when Planet Earth began preparing to celebrate the two thousandth anniversary of that systemic racist, Captain James Cook, getting stabbed to death in the neck in Hawaii. It was a special occasion. Could Planet Earth perhaps gather some particularly special flowers from Planet Floranarcissus? The cosmic committee decided it could. The committee was after all, in that particular year, chaired by an Earthling. But no plants must be taken.

A special craft visited Floranarcissus. Tens of millions of flowers were gathered, hastily shoved into vases, and speeded back to Earth. Not a flower was left. But the plants on Floranarcissus would rejuvenate. Flower plants do that. Every country on Earth, especially the country once known as Hawaii, were festooned with blooms.

By morning all flowers were dead; dead, dowdy, and frizzled up. It was so disappointing.

It was years later that Earthlings learnt the bitter truth: they had exterminated all forms of intelligent life on Floranarcissus. The planet’s extinct intelligent life had evolved as flowers.

1967. Introduced species

(This is the sixth of seven days of Science Faction. Like most photographs of alien things the above photograph is decidedly fuzzy).

When the pair of polluxes escaped from the zoo no one minded too much. After all, they were harmless creatures. What people missed of course was being able to see them. They were the only creatures so far that the government had allowed into Planet Earth from Planet Alioth. Planet Earth was doing its bit to save species endangered throughout the Milky Way – of which there were many. There were a mere seven polluxes known to exist. When Earth was asked if they could take part in a breeding program – Earth seems to have the ideal conditions for polluxes – Earth said “Yes!” No one could deny that Earth wasn’t carrying its weight in the cosmic preservation process.

And now the pair of polluxes had escaped. Advertisements appeared everywhere, with both photographs and descriptions. They were small creatures, no bigger than an average cat. They had feathers. (Actually, they weren’t feathers, but they looked like feathers). They had a bright blue chest and the rest was shocking purple-pink. If you saw one you couldn’t mistake it. And no tail – I forgot to mention that.

Over time there were no reports of sightings. Then suddenly, there was a Pollux plague. Polluxes appeared everywhere. They had bred like flies. They were in trees, under houses, infesting drains. One of the worst problems was that they would crawl underneath a car and climb up to nest on the engine. It was believed to be the warmth that attracted them. Such a thing meant that the polluxes spread quickly where ever there was a road. Sometimes they would chew through the wiring in a vehicle.

They most definitively had to be exterminated. Earth’s government shipped seventeen breeding pairs back to Planet Alioth. Earth had done its bit for the environment. Now was the time to get out the traps and shotguns and poison. The whole world joined in on the extermination process – except for three or four mad people who thought the polluxes were cute.

No matter how hard they tried, the polluxes could not be wiped out. They ate the same as many Earth creatures. Dozens of species became extinct when it came to competition with the pollux.

It was a salient lesson. But… too little too late. Not even the introduction of Burmese pythons throughout the world could rid the environment of polluxes. But the pythons tended to take over every environment. They could breed like billy-O, and in fact did, with a guaranteed diet of ever-multiplying polluxes. Now there were two world pests: polluxes and pythons.

1966. The whimsies of tourism

(This is the fifth of seven days of Science Faction).

The twenty-four Doglocians had paid good money to travel from their home planet to Planet Earth. The voyage, travelling at the speed of light through a Worm-warp, would arrive at Earth after ninety days. But things went wrong on the voyage.

“It never rains but it pours,” said Okrogowia, the captain of the Doglocian space craft. It was an old Doglocian cliché, but true nonetheless.

They had wanted to arrive on Earth to see the Fall foliage. That’s what the trip had been billed as: Travel to Earth, celebrate upon arrival, and see the most spectacular autumn colours in the cosmos! But with the Worm-warp warping in the wrong direction (something it did roughly once every one hundred years or so) they had ended up shooting off on a tangent. It took days of catching one Worm-warp after another to get back on course. By now it was estimated that the voyage was going to be six weeks late.

And then something spectacular occurred. The Worm-warp warped wondrously and the Doglocian craft skedaddled faster than imagined. The lost six weeks were made up in a matter of minutes. It was the 12th of October 2020 in Earth dates.

“We made it!” announced Captain Okrogowia.

“We made it! We made it! Now we can celebrate!” danced the twenty-four passengers. And indeed they had made it on time!

They had made it on the very day they had wished their adventure to start: Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

1965. Just down the corridor

(This is the fourth of seven days of Science Faction).

Bevan lived in a single bedroom apartment block. It’s not the living arrangement he would have preferred, but it would do for the time being. He was saving to buy a proper home, with a small garden and lawn, and proper neighbours over the fence – not neighbours who could be described as “a couple of doors down the corridor”.

It wasn’t long before he noticed Magdalene. Her apartment was on the same floor. She was always very pleasant when they passed. In fact, she was straight-out lovely. They seemed to be roughly the same age. Her clothes and makeup were always done to perfection. Her personality was bubbly. Her speech was music. In fact, Bevan used to keep his door slightly ajar so he wouldn’t miss her when she came home. He didn’t want to not accidentally have the pleasure of bumping into her.

There was only one thing for it: he would have to ask her out on a date. It should be nothing too formal like a meal at a fancy restaurant. Maybe a movie followed by a coffee in a café. Twice he walked passed her door but was too afraid to knock.

“Blow it!” he thought one late Sunday afternoon. “It’s now or never.” He strode along the corridor before he had time to chicken out. He knocked. The door opened.

Oh my God! Great Scot! It was disgusting! She had forgotten to put on her artificial face. Her head was a squirming ball of worms and maggots. This intergalactic alien wasn’t one person; she was a thousand.

“Hold it! I’ll just put on my face.” She disappeared for no more than thirty seconds. When she reappeared it was the lovely Magdalene once again. “Just don’t tell anyone,” she said.

And that is how Bevan was silenced into owning his own home with a small garden and lawn, and proper neighbours over the fence. His delightful spouse wears her artificial face all the time these days.

Except when she takes a shower.

1964. Technological wizardry

(This is the third of seven days of Science Faction).

Alton and Warren were friends. They were also note-worthy scientists who worked at the famous Aeronautical Research Centre. Both men held strong views about UFOs and aliens. They advertised an evening to be held in the local school hall and titled “The truth about space aliens”. Had intergalactic craft been photographed and espied? Had people seen cosmic aliens?

The school hall was packed. At last the truth would be out. Alton began.

“UFOs are a hoax and I’ll tell you why. Here you have unidentified space craft that would have had to have travelled hundreds, possibly thousands, of light years through space to arrive here. I don’t doubt the possibility of such space travel being one day possible, so I am not ruling out that alien beings can’t do this.”

“Secondly, these space craft have been seen and in some cases videoed. The craft can dart almost instantaneously from one part of the sky to another. Again, I have no doubt that such technology could one day be available to us poor Earthlings,”

“But what gets me is this.” Warren continued the narrative. “And I’ll put it up here on the audio-visual screen. Don’t tell me that an alien civilization with the technology to travel hundreds of light years through space and to dart instantaneously through our sky upon arrival can be videoed because they haven’t yet developed our stealth technology! It’s a nonsense! The whole alien-UFO thing is a hoax. It’s baloney!”

Suddenly two strange men appeared on stage from nowhere. They each were carrying what appeared to be a Christmas candy cane. They zapped Alton and Warren into little piles of what looked like fluff under the bed (which had this happened in America the little piles would have been called Dust Bunnies). The two strange men then disappeared. Into nowhere. Into absolute nowhere.

A message appeared on the audio-visual screen: NO STEALTH TECHNOLOGY? YEAH RIGHT!

1963. Snap shot on Mars

(This is the second of seven days of Science Faction).

It wasn’t the first time that humans had landed and wandered around Mars. Each time – I believe it was seven – a new landing site had been selected to measure and collect and ascertain.

It was during the eighth Mars landing that Astronauts Eugenia and Estelle got the fright of their lives. They immediately beamed back photographs to Earth. There, in the sandy soil, were fresh footprints. In fact there were footprints of several creatures. The creatures were clearly quadrupeds and each foot had seventeen toes. Eugenia and Estelle followed the prints. When they turned a sudden rocky corner, there it was! Sitting on the sand was an octagonal space craft. No creatures were to be seen. The space craft was about the size of an average house.

The astronauts didn’t know whether they should approach or not. Was it dangerous? Surely the space aliens would have seen the Earthlings’ landing machine, and if they didn’t want to be seen they would have immediately taken off. Obviously, in this case, they wanted to make contact. Eugenia and Estelle slowly approached. It was naturally nerve-wracking.

There was still no sign of life. Suddenly Eugenia whispered. “Don’t look now but I think we’re been followed.” Their steps froze. They began to feel cold in their space suits. Estelle held up a small camera and pointed it behind her, to send the moment back to earth. No sooner had she held the camera up and pointed it behind her then it disintegrated in her hand.

A fuzzy image of shapes, out of focus and too dark to distinguish anything, was the last picture received on Earth. Extensive digital enhancement revealed what some thought looked like a vase of grey dead flowers and others imagined a scattered cloud formation on a stormy night. Astronauts Eugenia and Estelle were never heard of again. When yet another craft to Mars landed at the same site, the old craft was nowhere to be seen. It had been taken away.

1962. Interplanetary Cultural Exchange

(Today is the first of seven stories to celebrate Science Faction Weak).

Some of the more erudite among you may have heard of the literary genre of Science Fiction. If you haven’t – no matter. It is all made up stuff, which is why it is called Fiction. But this story here is Science FACTion. Those who regularly follow this blog know that it pulls no punches, takes no prisoners, and refuses stolidly to enter the airy-fairy world of make-believe.

This then, needless to say, is yet another true story proving once again that FACTion is stranger than FICTion.

Imagine the world-wide excitement when the Earth Government and the Government of our nearest inhabited planet, Loupchian, came to a mutual agreement; a scheme would be set up to allow for the interchange of students between the two planets. It would last about six months in each case. What a tremendous opportunity for artistic understanding! There was hardly a household on Planet Earth that didn’t want a LICK (Loupchian Interplanetary Cadet Kid).

The Loupchiens were a strange evolutionary line. They were like hairless dogs that walked around on two limbs and wore clothes. They were intelligent and showed an extraordinary facility for languages. Research had shown that it was a tiny insignificant event that had shoved the evolution of Homo sapiens in one direction and the Loupchiens into another. In fact, the Loupchian bipedal dog-look-alikes kept house pets that looked remarkably like homo sapiens. Except the homo sapiens pets were naked and dumb.

The exchange program went almost perfectly for a year. Thousands of LICKs were exchanged. Both sides became steeped in one another’s way of doing things. It was described as “a stunning bicultural enrichment”.

There were two things that rankled on Earth however. Those Earthings who returned could not be re-educated to stop bad habits they had picked up on the Loupchian Planet. The human boys would cock their legs to pee, and both sexes went around sniffing each other’s bottoms.

1949. A guilt trip

The arrival of certain story numbers on this blog sometimes contains an unsuspecting significance. In this case it is Story 1949. 1949 was the year I was born. The number surely demands something special?

Let me reveal something that maybe you never suspected.

Some mad people (they are mad people because I happen to know that things like that simply don’t happen) believe that at some stage they were abducted by aliens and experimented upon either in the alien space craft or taken to the home planet to be examined. What nonsense! I should know, because I am an alien implant.

I volunteered on my home planet to undergo a seventy-seven year or so stay on Planet Earth to better ascertain whether or not the planet would be worth taking over. Thus was I implanted in 1949 (Earth date) and born into what appeared to be normalcy.

Twenty years had not passed when I received a message that warfare on my home planet had erupted and, to make a long story short, my planet and all its inhabitants had been destroyed. This was not only sad but it created a problem for me because I no longer had reason to report back about Planet Earth. Nor do I know what I should do once the seventy-seven years or so are up. I can’t go on living here getting older and older without transmogrifying into something that Earthlings might consider strange.

So that’s where I’m at, at the moment. I’ll gladly take suggestions, but, PLEASE, no dingbats making ridiculous claims about “I too am an alien”. I know a good alien when I see one, and there are many charlatans on Planet Earth. There are perhaps more charlatans here than on any other inhabited planet in the universe.

Incidentally I know of only one other space alien currently on Planet Earth. She lives “overseas” and I have nothing to do with her. She’s from another planet from me altogether. Why would we need to work together? Can a horse and a cow join together to pull the same cart? (That is a saying once used on my home planet). Apparently she’s here to study cloud formation for a doctoral thesis. They’re so backward where she comes from.

There you have it! The number 1949 has certainly made me face the music. I’m actually feeling quite guilty that I haven’t told you about all this before.

1891. On talking to a telegraph pole

I’m constantly amazed at how stupid some space aliens really are. The other day I caught one having a conversation with a telegraph pole. A telegraph pole!

I said, “You’re talking to a telegraph pole you stupid idiot. It’s not a living thing; it’s just a pole for holding up wires. It’s inanimate.”

“Oh yeah,” it said. (I’m not sure with the aliens if it’s a girl or a boy. Possibly neither. I read, apparently they breed like mushrooms. Sort of clouds of spores. I’d better watch out! Ha ha!) It continued: “Perhaps if you tried talking to a telegraph pole yourself you’d realize they are not as inanimate as you might think. Here! Try it!”

“Hello telegraph pole. How are you today?” I said.

Suddenly there was a cloud of spores floating all around me. I said that these spores were like mushroom spores, but really it was like a pollen explosion in a pine forest. I was so immersed in the all-pervading floating pollen that I could hardly see the alien. It was smiling in a ghostly manner; it was mesmerizing. Quite frankly it was grotesque.

Anyway, I had to dash off home. I was so excited, as was my wife. I just realized something then and there. Poof! In a flash! We’re going to have a baby! Possibly tomorrow morning.

1854. Lone tree

I was walking through the fields quite casually, just looking. I had my digital camera with me. The local Photography Society was holding a competition. The prize was a super-duper digital camera. The subject was “Trees”.

There were a number of categories, all to do with trees. There was a category for forests, one for lone trees, one for native trees, one for introduced species of tree, one for dead trees. There was also a category for a video of a tree, which I wasn’t going to enter because although I’d had my camera for quite a while, and the camera had the facility to take videos, I’d never got around to learning what buttons to press. The capturing of a video was beyond my technical ability!

I wasn’t having much luck photographing trees because there really were no interesting trees about. Suddenly, just above the gnarled top of an old cedar, as I was focusing, a fleet of alien space craft appeared. They were in convoy. I suppose there were six of them. I took as many photographs as possible; after all, my digital camera can take hundreds of photographs without getting full. The experience was thrilling!

That is the last thing I remember of that incident.

I awoke in the same field, in the same place. When I got home I discovered that a whole two months had passed; I had missed two months. Clearly I had not been lying unconscious in the field the whole of that time. The experience was disorienting; kind of wonky. I really didn’t know what to do; who to tell. If I told anyone of the experience they would smile and say “Yeah right” meaning I was talking nonsense. So I kept quiet about it.

When a little later I downloaded the photographs on my camera onto my computer (it was now too late to enter the competition) there were the photographs of the alien convoy I had seen. They were blurry as photos of alien craft always are. But as well as that there were seventeen clear photographs and a video that I had not taken myself.

Oh my word! Oh goodness gracious! I have never seen scenes so breath-taking. It was sheer beauty. It was indescribable. Here was my chance to show other people, and then perhaps my strange experience would be believed.

The first time I went to show the photographs they were no longer there; they had disappeared, on both my camera and computer. I can still see the wonder of those photos in my mind’s eye. Extraordinary! There can be no doubt that I was abducted. The aliens had clearly fiddled with the camera in perhaps a futile attempt to understand what the contraption was for.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the Photography Society asking when was I going to pick up the digital camera I had won? I can tell you, as honestly as the day is long, I never entered that competition. Ever.