This is a guest post by award-winning author Terry Persun, who happens to be teaching a science fiction writing workshop next month.
I know that Stephen Hawking has been quoted saying he thinks that if aliens exist that mankind should avoid contact with them. He claims that aliens are most likely to treat us similar to how the Europeans treated the Native Americans. That they’d look to conquer or colonize our planet.
And, of course, most movies and television shows indicate that aliens are strong and healthy, they have poisonous claws or teeth, and we look like food to them. A lot of scientists think that aliens would show up to mine Earth of its minerals and that maybe we’d become their slaves in doing so. (Why they wouldn’t just use their superior intellect to create a machine for that purpose is beyond me.)
So, yeah, I’m a science fiction author (part of the time), but even if I have criminals in my fiction, it doesn’t mean that I think every human on Earth is a criminal. So, just because some of my aliens are bad…come to think of it, many of the aliens I write about haven’t tried to take over the Earth at all. In fact, some are just trying to protect themselves against us, and some are (hold it, I don’t want to give this away)… My novel, BACKYARD ALIENS just came out and it doesn’t have that type of alien in it—pretty much, anyway.
I like to think that perhaps the aliens who find us (if they do) are the Greenpeace type of aliens. They’re out to protect us, not exploit or eat us. They are out to learn from us. Perhaps even share what they’ve learned, have philosophical dialogs, explore ideas on the meaning of life in the universe. Why not? If I were to answer that question, there would be more than one answer, as you probably know by now.
If I were to write about aliens again, perhaps I’d explore the ones out to do us harm in some way, whether they think so or not. Perhaps the aliens would come here to help us and in trying would kill us anyway. Perhaps the aliens might want to work with us, learn from us, and we wouldn’t have any of it. Our fear and mistrust would have us fighting back even though we wouldn’t have to. (Anyone out there read Arthur C. Clarke’s CHILDHOOD’S END?)
The truth is, as a writer, I like to explore ideas that might be different than the norm, but they still have to be interesting ideas, and the stories have to have some action, and be fun to read. So, if I were a lazy writer, I might have only the monster-type aliens, the bad ones. But, let’s think outside the box. Let’s explore all the options. Writing isn’t only entertainment, it’s intelligent entertainment (much of the time), and can help us to see the world differently—even a world with alien invasions.
Would you like to write a science fiction novel?
Join us for a memoir workshop this October taught by award winning author Terry Persun, Develop and Write Your Science Fiction Novel. You can get $25 off the lowest registration rate when you use the code get25.
Take this webinar if you’re ready to tackle that science fiction novel you’ve been thinking about, or if you’ve already written it and want to understand the genre better for your rewrite. More details here.
Terry Persun holds a Bachelor’s of Science as well as an MA in Creative Writing. He has worked as an engineer, has been the Editor-in-Chief of several technology journals, and is now marketing consultant for technical and manufacturing companies. Over a dozen of his novels have been published. His science fiction novel “Cathedral of Dreams” won a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Finalist Award, and his historical novel, “Sweet Song” won a Silver IPPY Award. His latest science fiction space opera, “Hear No Evil” was a finalist in the International Book Awards this past year. His sci-fi and fantasy novels have been on the top 100 (sci-fi categories) on Amazon several times in the past year.