People had always regarded Evan as being a bit strange. He was obsessed with thoughts of space aliens and unidentified flying craft that went this way and that instantaneously.
Lady Luck was on Evan’s side. A strange alien craft had landed on his lawn. How did they know that of all the lawns in town his lawn would be the most welcoming. Evan went out to greet the machine.
A loud voice through speakers welcomed him. It spoke in immaculate English, perhaps with a slight tinge of South African accent.
“Welcome Earthling!” said the voice. “We would like to meet you in person. There is a hatch door at the top of our craft. If you wish it can be opened for you to enter, but you will need a ladder to get to the roof of our craft if you wish to use the hatch.”
Evan went to his shed and got a ladder. The hatch opened. Evan jumped into the craft. It was all water. Evan drowned. The aliens were some sort of fish.
Vladimir was sent up to the space station specifically to help Anastasia make a minor repair on the outside of the space station. It was a two-person job. Anastasia was more than capable of floating in space with an oxygen cable while she fixed things, but this task required four hands.
Vladimir was more than happy to oblige so off he went.
When Anastasia and Vladimir had been outside the station for about three minutes, Anastasia cut Vladimir’s lifesaving connection and he floated off into space.
Below is a translation of an extract of a speech that Qhak’eot gave to the Breakfast Club on his home planet of Stex:
I can say nothing bad about Earthlings. They were kindness to a fault. Their hospitality was nothing but the best. I was treated like royalty.
Since I am by profession an artist – burning coloured acids into a metal board – I was taken from one famous Earth gallery to another. I went – among many others – to the David Zwirner Gallery of Art in New York, to a Vincent van Gogh exhibition in Amsterdam, to a John Constable exhibition in London, and to various Vatican galleries in Rome.
Naturally I didn’t let our Planet Stex down. I said all the right things, and ooh-ed and ah-ed in all the right places. The thing that amazed me the most – although I didn’t convey a thing on the matter – was how irrationally proud Earthlings are of their infantile ventures into the Arts.
Most of the paintings I saw were a complete mess. What the Earthlings didn’t seem to realize was that we see a far greater range of colour than they do. We have eyesight that not only perceives the familiar rainbow of colours but also parts of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum that are invisible to Earthling eyes. Rather like birds on Earth. As well as that our eyes are like a bumble bee’s; multifaceted. And also, as you know, we can turn colours off and on which Earthlings are incapable of.
The Sistine Chapel in Rome was particularly disgusting with its vulgar colours of overweight angels flopping around some sort of ultraviolet muddled biosphere. I probably wouldn’t recommend a visit there. In fact I would recommend by-passing Planet Earth altogether. Their music is also simplistic. They have such a limited range of sound that I’d rather listen all day to a machine. I have no comprehension as to why Earthlings think their Arts are superior when they have such poor and limited sensory perceptions in all areas.
With Phailsod’s birthday coming up he thought he would commemorate it by inviting a few fellow Thraczoits around for a feast. Thraczoits don’t live as many years as Earthlings. Thirty would be around about the average life expectancy. However, don’t get me wrong; a Thraczoit year is equivalent to six Earth years, so in fact the Thraczoits live a lot long than Earthlings but have fewer birthdays.
The rarity of a birthday occurrence bothered Phailsod more than a little because he had watched Earthlings celebrate birthdays and they got a lot more birthday presents than on his planet. However, with his long awaited birthday coming up he invited lots and lots of fellow citizens and most were wealthy enough to bring along fabulous gifts.
Phailsod spared nothing. This would be the most memorable birthday party anyone had attended. He invited over two hundred Traczoits and they all came.
All agreed: the superiority of soil for their roots and the quality of light for their photosynthesis were truly amazing. It certainly was a birthday feast to remember.
Eva had always wanted to be an astronaut. And why not? You have to have your dreams, said Eva’s mother. Reach for the stars. You never know where dreams will take you.
And so she did! Eva reached for the stars. She went to Astronaut School and passed with flying colours. There she met fellow astronaut, Caleb. They fell in love, got married, had four kids, and now have eleven grandkids.
You never know where dreams will take you, Eva’s mother had said.
Thank you for inviting my crew and me this Smakin Darit Ingtincton to speak to you. As you know we have just finished a 472-year cruise of liveable planets within our own galaxy. Of course we didn’t visit them all, but we did manage to visit over 400 places during the course of the trip.
Being almost a billion years more advanced than many of them there was little we could learn from most. On Planet Stackton we learnt a solution to the problem we’ve always had here of debris collecting on our stella-panels. Of course the Stacktonians like us are a long-evolving, highly developed planet, so we were not surprised to find something we didn’t know.
Perhaps the most stunning discovery was on Planet Earth. They are a very young planet where intelligent activity has been evolving to a relatively low degree over a mere several million years. There we found they had a contraption that absolutely stunned us. It’s such a simple concept and so obvious. I guess we were more amazed at our own lack of invention in the matter rather than in the creative Earthling invention itself.
We brought several examples with us in order to show the variety of design that is possible, and we shall be passing them on to our scientific experts so they can use these artefacts as a sort of blue print.
What are they, you might ask? Naturally we don’t have names for them as yet, so we refer to them in backward Earth terms. They call them salt and pepper shakers.
Once cosmic aliens had been discovered it didn’t take long for the forty million or so known forms of intelligent life to work out that basically intelligent life was all the same no matter where they stemmed from in the universe. They were all violent and mean. They were greedy. They were corrupt. They were rotten to the core.
One of the good things about all this however was that weapons of war would not work if they were fired via the instowarpicator. This was a device of extraordinary inventiveness that enabled alien species (I call them “species” but really we need to invent a new word for these divisions)… the instowarpicator enabled each planetary “intelligentis” to travel almost instantaneously from one planet to another.
As I say, lethal weapons of war were neutralized if they travelled down the instowarpicator. Lethal weapons of mass destruction had to travel via the conventional way, that is, through space at the speed of light.
It is believed that almost every planet (if not all) had at some stage fired a destructive weapon at an enemy planet somewhere sometime. The good thing was that the weapons would take thousands (in some cases millions) of light years to reach their targets. This made the inhabitants of every planet blasé about interplanetary co-existence. Each had thousands of years to discover and make an antidote to destructive forces.
So all in all, the cosmos was safe. It’s just that every race of planetary intelligentis hated each other’s guts.
Now that interplanetary visitation is commonplace there are some people who won’t accept reality. Gone are the days when we didn’t know whether or not life existed on other planets – let alone intelligent life.
What gets me down are the tourists. There are hundreds of known planets seething with life, but these aliens from just the one planet seem to wander aimlessly around the cosmos like maggots on a hunk of dead rotten meat. And they take photographs of everything. You would think by now they would have upgraded their technology.
My home has a spectacular view of a waterfall. It’s why I paid such an extravagant price for the house; it was the view. Now it seems like you can’t see the waterfall for the tourists. Also, I estimate there must be three or four knocks on my door every day. It is tourists asking if I am willing to sell. These tourists from just the one planet seem motivated by greed. They are buying up a good portion of the real estate around here and they’re only living in it for about a month of the year.
Other planets are finding the same problems. There’s a move afoot to get the Interplanetary Confederation to ban tourists from Earth altogether.
Let me make it quite clear: I don’t believe in outer-space aliens, I have never believed in aliens, and I will never believe in aliens. They are a fiction and not an overly interesting one. Which is why it was a bit strange, given my antipathy towards fictional extra-terrestrials, that I got a handwritten note in my mailbox lamenting that this blog hadn’t had a story in it for quite a while involving outer-space aliens. It was signed “Alien from Out There”.
To be honest, I saw red. If a friend (or acquaintance) wanted science fiction they were welcome to tell me to my face. I scribbled a reply at the bottom of the note that read “If you’re so keen on science fiction why don’t you write one yourself.”
The next day there was a story in my mailbox. Here it is. It hasn’t changed my scepticism about aliens one bit.