Tag Archives: science fiction

2269. The naked truth

Of course Gavin wasn’t his real name and nor was he Jemima Puddle-Duck. Jemima Puddle-Duck was simply one of the many Beatrix Potter characters in costume at the Theme Park. Gavin arrived at work in costume and left work in costume. No one had actually seen what he looked like – which was just as well because he wasn’t human. In fact, he didn’t originate from this planet at all. He was an alien from outer space; hence the name “Gavin” because his real name was a series of unpronounceable grunts.

He arrived and left work in costume not because he didn’t want his workmates to see him but because when he commuted to work other people on the bus would wonder what was going on. He didn’t mind his workmates knowing because they were all aliens in costume too. In fact the Theme Park had been founded by aliens and the operation was used to investigate the way Planet Earth operated.

But now the Theme Park was running into problems. Fewer and fewer families seemed to visit. The costumes were looking stale and dowdy. Some new life had to be injected into the Theme Park. That was when Gavin had an idea.

All the Beatrix Potter characters threw off their costumes and stood as aliens in a brand new theme for the Theme Park. The new theme was Science Fiction. Visitors flocked. They had never seen such wonderful costumes. Those alien characters looked so real. And that’s the naked truth.

2266. Kitchen gadgetry

It had been a difficult time for Annie. She knew she wasn’t living in cuckoo land, but everyone else seemed to think so. No one believed her when she spoke of what had happened to her; where she had gone and why. Now she simply shut up about it except on rare occasions. If the person had asked kindly she didn’t mind too much narrating her experience, but usually she resented being pooh-poohed.

Her abduction naturally wasn’t voluntary. The aliens had been polite but firm. She had been selected because she was practical in the kitchen. They wanted to ask her about ordinary kitchen utensils. Most of them they couldn’t work out what they were for. A hand-beater for example; what was it used for and how?

Annie discovered that the aliens had every kitchen utensil and appliance under the sun, and wanted to have an entire room in the main museum on their home planet dedicated to Earthling Kitchen Gadgetry. Annie thought it quite fun to tell them all sorts of tall stories. A spatula, for example, was used for beating a wayward child. A frying pan was for smashing eggs; just place half a dozen eggs on the bench and smash them with a frying pan. A garlic press was for destoning plums. There was nothing that Annie didn’t make up a story about. Next time you go to the aliens’ museum you’ll see how wrong they have got the labelling. That’s because of Annie’s stories.

“That’s absolutely fascinating, Annie,” said the nurse. “The doctor will see you in a minute.”

2187. Alien first aid

Poor Mrs. Mabel Bloxham had been chosen at random and abducted by aliens. They were taking her back to their home planet for investigation.

Normally Mabel wouldn’t have minded. In fact, she would enjoy the adventure, but in this case they had snatched her away and she was without her medication.

She asked the aliens in the flying saucer on the way (she did so via the exfibbertranslaticator) if they had extra advanced medical knowledge and could zap her back to full health. They answered that human physical makeup was so different from theirs that their advanced medicine would offer no advantage. That was why they wanted to examine her to learn more about the bodies of Earthlings. Then they might be of help.

Mrs. Mabel Bloxham’s problem was that she had no legs. Her legs were artificial. She had to take pills to stabilize things.

Upon examination the aliens were astounded. They had no idea when they abducted her that she was legless.

The aliens were from an advanced civilization. They had no word for war. They had no word for pain. They had no word for bad. They simply spread kindness throughout the universe. Which was why, when they arrived on Earth to help the humans, they cut off everyone’s legs.

2168. Genies in bottles

I have no doubt that you have heard of genies in bottles. Genies pop out of uncorked bottles to grant the cork-poppers three wishes. Of course it is just a silly fairy story, it certainly is, but the basis of the myth is firmly grounded in a reality. Unfortunately at the present time I am not in a position to disclose my sources, but they are true and reliable.

About a thousand or so years ago one of the more advanced civilizations in our galaxy happened to come across Planet Earth. Tourists from the alien planet began to flock. The aliens were enamoured by the simplicity and backwardness of the Earthlings. The aliens played all sorts of tricks because they loved to see the surprise on an Earthling’s face. The aliens would indeed grant wishes.

This activity didn’t last for long. The Head Gazompher of the alien planet made a decree: all recognizable dealing with Earthlings had to cease. We must not interfere with the evolutionary process of creatures within the Cosmos. By all means watch them in an invisible way, but do not meddle in their affairs.

To cover their footprints, so to speak, the aliens concocted myths about genies granting wishes. Genies popping out of bottles became rooted in Earthling mythology. The Head Gazompher (I’m still alive) is well pleased.

2164. Interplanetary wisdom

There is a phrase that the natives use on the Planet Dismusious that goes: Éðß¿¿ ƣŶƛź ḝ ⅌ℱ℥ӝҤӃ. Literally translated it says: He who likes not turnips should not fish.

Of course the word used is not “turnips” as they don’t have turnips on Dismusious. Nor for that matter do they have fish. Nor do the Dismusiousians have any word to denote negation such “non” and “not”. In fact to a non-Dismusiousian the phrase is quite meaningless. However, with a little help from an erudite bunch of alter-aliens a semblance of meaning can be deciphered.

Strictly speaking it is a warning – when conjurnicating don’t wedleidong else you could harm the qiesllon. Mrs. Masie Brown of Wisconsin said she had never heard anything so stupid. One has nothing to do with the other and both convey no meaning whatsoever.

Professor Lola Fitzsimons was able to point out a few home truths to Mrs. Maisie Brown.

“You,” said Professor Lola, “are a shameless bag of cow manure. You judge everything by earth’s standards. But there are other ways of skinning a cat elsewhere in the universe. You suffer from a bad case of ethnocentricity. When it comes to the way inhabitants on other planets do and say things, your racism comes to the fore. You are caught is the all-devouring whirlpool of Earthling superiority.”

“All I can say in response to that,” said Mrs. Masie Brown, “is Éðß¿¿ ƣŶƛź ḝ ⅌ℱ℥ӝҤӃ. So put that in your pipe and ԋԀ ðՆԿŶƛỼ it.”

2134. You are being watched

Sometimes (quite often actually) I feel as if I’m being watched. It’s nothing really. It’s just that every time I go somewhere everyone and everything looks. In fact, once or twice I’ve put my hands into my pockets just to ascertain whether or not I remembered to put on my pants.

There’s nothing unusual about my appearance that I know of. I’m really quite ordinary to look at. In fact, when I left my home planet (somewhere up near Sirius – I’m not allowed to say) I thought the Department of Shape-Changing did a pretty good job of making me look like an ordinary Earthling.

But here on Earth it’s mainly the cows that stare. I know that the Crowdacians (they’re from a planet fairly close to mine, and they’re our greatest enemy) take on the appearance of a cattle beast. They’re so good at it that often I can’t tell a real cow from a Crowdacian. The Cow is one look that our Department of Shape-Changing has never been able to master.

So when I see a herd of cattle I stop. They all stare, and I shout: “Ha! Ha! Ha! Milking time! Go home! Milking time!” That usually sorts them out. The fake-cow-Crowdacians can’t stand that. They stamp their feet and drool at the mouth. So that’s one way I get to determine who is who.

But now I’m faced with a terrible conundrum. To make myself appear even more normal of a human being I got myself a pet cat. Every second Earthling seems to have a pet cat. And now I’ve discovered that my cat in fact is a Midconsevarian in disguise. At first I didn’t know where the planet was that Midconsevarians came from. But now I know and it’s not nice. I love my cat but have strict orders from my Department of Shape-Changing that I shouldn’t associate.

What am I to do? Everything and everyone stares. I love my pet cat. I want to go home. I asked to be relieved of this terrible cross (goodness, I seem to be taking on the language of an Earthling religion). I have been told that I am on a sixty year contract to stay on Earth.

So a warning to others: think twice before volunteering to do a spell on Earth. It can really suck.

2097. There they go again

Now that cosmic aliens have become commonplace, and in the main taken for granted, certain serious problems have arisen.

I’m not talking about interplanetary marriages. These of course can create hitherto unthought of problems. A human and an alien falling in love is a bit like being besotted by a pet cat. Nothing wrong with loving ones cat. It’s the procreation bit that makes the mess. There are now all sorts of bylaws and mores to govern transplanetary sex. How does an Earthling, for example, have sex with a creature who has… Oh, doesn’t matter…

But it’s the racism that gets to me. As an alien on Earth from the Planet Spectrifica I can only say I have felt the full force of Earthly bigotry many a time. Earthlings used to discriminate against Asians and Blacks and Europeans and any subdivision they cared to create that was governed by looks or beliefs. These days this full-faced vengeance is aimed at aliens from outer space. They cannot accept the fact that every alien from every planet has features Earthlings posit as being ludicrous. Only the other day I saw two Earthling schoolgirls giggling at a Tronkinish who had three belly buttons on his/her forehead. The various races on Earth are now united by their common hatred and scorn of aliens.

That is why I have founded a group that gives voice to protest against these bigotries. It is called ALARM. For the name I simply took the first letter of every word in the name; which seems to be a practice used by the Earthlings. For example there are UN and BLM and USA and UK and NASA and so on. So I settled on ALARM.

ALARM is become increasingly popular with us aliens. We stand together against the ignorance of Earthlings.

Some Earthling asked (on television would you believe): What do the letters of ALARM stand for? I said that ALARM stands for ALIEN LIVES ARE REALLY IMPORTANT. They said that would be ALARI not ALARM. I simply sighed and thought, There they go again. Earthlings continue to impose their restrictive perceptions on every living creature in the Universe. It seems they will never learn. If scrunchers weren’t illegal on this backward planet I’d get one and scrunch the lot.

1990. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Humphrey sat and pondered. He wrote a blog; frequent stories and things. It was time perhaps for a good old-fashioned murder.

Humphrey had devised many a murder over the years. He had poisoned and stabbed, shot with pistol and rifle, organized fatal accidents. There had been drownings and sunstrokes and coronaries. If Humphrey concocted a storybook death, even from natural causes, it could be construed as murder. He didn’t have to kill characters off. But snuff characters out he did, and often with glee.

The only problem was that things were becoming run-of-the-mill; so humdrum; rather ho-hum. Are there any original ways left to murder? Is there still such a things as a creative homicide?

In the meantime, Humphrey was on another mission. Occasionally his stories degenerated into Science Fiction. Today he was in a space craft – a mother ship that was headed for the moon. When they got there, Nancy would land on the surface of the moon in the special moon lander. She would be the first woman to walk on the moon.

“It’s very important,” said Nancy.

“I don’t think it’s important at all,” said Humphrey. “Science is science.”

They had a big argument, but agreed to a semi-placid relationship while their scientific experiments were carried out. Nancy went off on her little moon lander and history was made! Wonderful! The first woman in history to set foot on non-Earth soil!

“I shall do my best to make her name forever remembered,” thought Humphrey. He turned the mother ship towards home and took off.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

1982. Invisible aliens

It wasn’t that big – the alien spacecraft on his back lawn. Possibly it had landed on Ted’s lawn because it was private, being surround by a thick hedge. If you were to land a space craft on an inhabited alien planet it is obvious that caution must be observed. Ted went out to see if they wanted anything. No one was about. The alien craft didn’t seem to have even a door that Ted could knock upon.

The craft was there all day. Ted went our frequently but nothing changed. Evening came. Still nothing had happened.

Then it occurred to Ted: they were invisible. If their science had enabled them to travel from a distant solar system it would logical that they also had the technology to render themselves invisible. This was borne out when kitchen cupboard doors began to open and close; not vehemently, but nicely. It was as if the aliens were politely looking for something.

“Look,” said Ted out aloud to an apparently empty room. “If you want something specific just ask. I might be able to help.” The aliens did not respond. Ted got a large piece of paper and a black felt-tipped marker. He put them on the kitchen table. He turned his back. “Just write it down if you are too wary to be seen.”

When Ted turned back he picked up the piece of paper off the table.

“Yes! There’s writing on it,” said Ted. “It says: WHOLE MEAL FLOUR. FOR FUEL. I’m not sure if I have whole meal flour in the house. I shall have a look, and if need be I can go to the shop and get some for you. I usually keep the flour in this cupboard here.”

Ted opened the flour cupboard.

“This one,” said the Superintendent to the psychiatry students, “is a most interesting case.”

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.