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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Getting to know the alien

crossposted on 2005nanowrimo

On my notes page (http://www.neverett.blogspot.com) today I posted what I called "The Rules of Engagement" which attempted to generally lay out the ethics and rules that the alien culture has in dealing with our culture. But now it is time to get inside the head of my aliens. I think one of the big busts in SciFi is the tendency to make aliens who are basically humans in lizard suits. We are so puny-minded that we can't really imagine anything that doesn't think like us.
I once wrote a story in which an alien considered sub-lightspeed space travel to be "sailing." He could feel the tides and currents of space they way a human could feel them in the ocean. But that, too, fell way short of getting inside the head of something that I considered so totally alien that I couldn't fathom it. So how do you describe that? In my story, the aliens take the form of humans, from birth to death (usually) and then return to their base. They might come back several times. (I think. Could it be possible that taking human form actually confines them to a human lifespan?) Argh!

So, the premise is, if they look like us, act like us, talk like us, and feel like us, who cares if there are aliens among us? Well, the answer is simply anyone who simply can't stand the thought of something bigger than we are influencing our development and that of our world. We are fully self-determinate, right? But to my aliens, we are a symbiont of the earth, just a variation of plants when it comes right down to it. What is the scope of the intelligence that can encompass not just one world, but a whole greenhouse filled with them and see the living creatures on those world as uniquely belonging to that world and vice versa? How do you write about something that is so far beyond any understanding that we could have?

I recall the old "Flatlands" story in which we could only understand the dimensions that we could experience. So we could experience a triangle in Flatlands, but we couldn't tell it from a tetrahedron because all we could relate to is the triangle. Maybe all we can do with our aliens is relate to the human aspect of them. What else they are is beyond our scope. Yet, my next task is to get inside the head of the aliens. To try to understand them the way they do.