Sci-fi, Aliens yay or nay

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Wolfmaster1234, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    @Justin Phillips are bug-like aliens any more implausible than the idea that on some distant planet you ended up with human-like aliens evolving independently from us? They make sense in the context of creation stories, where there is some connection between the aliens and our appearance on earth. Apart from that, it would seem quite the coincidence (i.e. Star Trek and its plethora of human-like aliens (and female aliens that are attractive by subjective human standards)).
     
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  2. Justin Phillips

    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    I'm not sure it it's more implausible, just don't personally like bug aliens, grays, or little green men. Maybe its because those three are what is so overdone and makes people want to stay away from writing alien stuff.

    I liked stargate's explanation of how there are humans on other planets. They all came through the stargate centuries ago. But that only works because it works with their story
     
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  3. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Understood.

    I like when authors come up with highly unusual aliens, however I suppose there is always a balance between having them be truly alien and making them work for a story (if you want a high level of human interaction or want them as characters).

    Robert Forward had interesting, tiny aliens living on a neutron star. They lived, died, and evolved as a society millions of times faster than humans. The novel spans a few months, during which time humans observe the alien civilization going from early agricultural levels of technology to having technology advanced enough to affect gravity and travel through space.
     
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  4. Justin Phillips

    Justin Phillips Active Member

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    wow I've never read that, but it sounds like a great concept.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    The guy who wrote it was a physicist. The gravity where the aliens live is tens of millions the level of Earth gravity, and the alien lifetimes last less than a human hour. It's an interesting concept, and a cool book. Early 80s, I believe. It's called The Dragon's Egg.
     
  6. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Wow, cool!

    I can see the tagline now: "They are as mayflies... On a plague ship."
     
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  7. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

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    The easiest non-biological way to create oxygen is to mix water ice (which is very abundant) and radiation You'll get hydrogen peroxide on the ice, which when it melts will dissolve into the liquid water ocean and release it's extra oxygen atom.

    I like aliens as long as they are realistic. Evolution can do weird things, but it still follows certain rules: for example, there must be enough gross energy to sustain the chemistry. The chemistry must go through cycles that are stable for at least a billion years. Intelligence only evolved in us under very special circumstances, although there are some aspects of it that are universally advantageous.
     
  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Wrting is never clean. :) Contributor

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    Well there goes my plans for having an invasion of Pickle people from the planet Brine-0000004. You sir, are no damn fun. :supergrin:@newjerseyrunner
     
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  9. Seraph751

    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole... Contributor

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    I agree with @GuardianWynn on whether or not Aliens are a good fit for a particular sci-fi novel. However I also wanted to add that as the author it is up to you whether or not your aliens have something to bring to the table politically, or with their military. The aliens may also act as a balance for humans or give us cause to get really creative/grow in difficult situations.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
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  10. Dark Severance

    Dark Severance Member

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    I feel like Aliens can introduce other faucets to a story that can't normally be done through traditional standards.

    For example: In the real world we have various cultures that vary greatly. The idea that someone isn't "free" to make their own choices is an alien concept to many. Even by writing about a dystopian society there is a good portion of people who can't wrap their mind around the concept that there are still what are considered brutal cultures and societies. Aliens help introduce those stark different cultures and can make them more relatable to a reader, then if they were reading about other humans.

    Another example: Aliens are also a way to handle and deal with real world issues, without necessarily putting the focus on those issues. You can deal with racism and prejudices much easier, making it a clearer concept. You don't have to resort to current racist terms but can make parallels with new ones.
     
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  11. Vagrant Tale

    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    I personally prefer aliens IF the aliens are done well. You can't just have aliens and then put in no effort to establish them. They need cultures, dialects, languages, religions, beliefs, cities, countries, politics...well done aliens is a huge undertaking. If aliens do not matter much to your plot or goals, then you are taking a massive load of work for no good reason. If this is the case, I recommend:

    1) You put it in the center of human-space, so that aliens are rare and unseen among the populace of the area, and you mention them in passing, or show them briefly in some instance and elaborate on them just enough for that scene
    2) You just don't have aliens at all, say that mankind is still looking, and but even as they have explored so far into the stars, mankind has yet to see any proof we are not alone
     
  12. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    It's a difficult element to get right, you want them to be somewhat relevant to the world you're building and if they are prominent characters they need to be more than humans with slightly different features.

    Personally, I often find alien characters harder to relate to/care about in a lot of sci-fi I've read.
     
  13. Chester Stark

    Chester Stark New Member

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    It fully depends on the atmosphere you're going for. If you want a life-filled universe with bustling alien cities and space-ports, go for it. If you want a lonely universe with a single astronaut travelling through space, go for that, too. They have very different feelings to them.
    I would tend to stay away from alien 'cliches', e.g., bugs, little green men, what have you. Unless you can think of something special, its probably not worth having same-y aliens everywhere. I would tend to have a colonised sci-fi world with lots of alien races, just because, for some inexplicable reason, that's the atmosphere I like.
     
  14. bonijean2

    bonijean2 Ancient Artists And Storytellers Rock

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    Who would have ever guessed that the word "alien" would have so many connotations in this day/age and become a cliche' as well. Perhaps having a more creative approach would help. Referring to "ET's" as a long lost culture of humans who (with advanced knowledge) escaped this planet to colonize elsewhere and now they are back might be an interesting scenario. At any rate, I would include some type of "ET" situation within your science fiction story.
     
  15. ToBeInspired

    ToBeInspired Senior Member

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    To me Fantasy and Sci-Fi have the most room for creativity. The creation of new planets and new life forms is limitless in possibility.

    As long as it's unique, I'm happy. It doesn't always have to be humanoid or follow human characteristics or traits.

    Pro alien.
     
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  16. Songshie

    Songshie New Member

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    It doesn't matter much to me, but it's very important that the aliens are written well. I don't like the stereotypical bug aliens or hive mind ones. I also don't care much for completely humanoid ones either. I do like seeing other alien cultures, especially less advanced ones.
     
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  17. Radrook

    Radrook Senior Member

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    I personally enjoy the alien inclusion because it takes me beyond Earth, a region that has always held a special fascination for me. But I also enjoy sci fi that is Earthbound but based on an extrapolation of the present state of technology into the future. What sociological consequences can accrue fro n recent discovery such as cloning for example. What religious issues can arise? What issues concerning human rights. The same with the emergence of a fully conscious android. Or where will nano-technology lead us in the medical field. All such issues can be very interesting reads if handled property whereas a space adventure might not if it is handled improperly.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  18. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    I sometimes ask myself if I'm really a fan of sci-fi, as what interests me much more is novels set on a future earth (or at least a planet which serves as an 'earth'). I love sci-fi films and I'm a huge Red Dwarf fan, but when it comes to reading (and writing) I shy away from what I call 'spacey-wacey' sci-fi.

    So, to answer your question, it's a no to aliens from me.
     
  19. Alastair James Cunningham

    Alastair James Cunningham New Member

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    Yay! A thousand times, yay! Aliens are a favoured trope of mine in Science Fiction.
     
  20. K McIntyre

    K McIntyre Member

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    I guess it depends on how the addition of aliens would further the story or impede it. If they are essential for the story, then by all means use them. If they are being added just because you feel you need to, then don't. I am reminded of a SciFi story from the 1950s by Heinlein (I think.) about the first female worker on a space station that was being built. I can't remember the title (Heh - I'm not 30 anymore!), but one of the character's was named Tiny. Point is - not an alien in sight, but a dynamite SciFi story.
     

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