Alien Science Fiction Books
Let it be said from the start that this list is neither comprehensive nor an attempt to rank the “greatest” aliens. I truly feel the odds are highly in favor of there being more alien races in the universe than science fiction could possibly imagine (and we haven’t met a single one of them yet). But the field has certainly given it the old college try in imagining what they might be like. As such, this list is nothing more or less than some of the aliens I have enjoyed getting to know in the pages of books. Some are foes, some are friends, some are neither or misunderstood decent-folk. In an effort to limit the possibilities at least somewhat, the following criteria apply: Only races found in “books” are included (no short stories or visual media). The book must be good enough to read regardless of how cool the aliens are. The aliens must be fleshed out to where you would know what to expect if suddenly meeting them. They must be unique and memorable. Here then, are a few I think I “know” that are in no particular order.
Hard for humans to pronounce, with a deep glottal stop after the first “A”, the Aalaag conquered Earth easily to set the stage for Gordon R. Dickson’s 1987 novel, Way of the Pilgrim. Considered within their own ethos, the Aalaag are extremely just masters — mistreatment of their human “cattle” by one of their kind is a serious offense. But they demand obedience and a rigid code of conduct that rankles the human spirit. Actually, the Aalaag are a conquered race themselves, fleeing from some unnamed but awesomely powerful enemy that took their home worlds. They are in essence warriors, tall and proud, each with a collection of personal arms and possessing a Spartan outlook on their condition. Every single Aalaag views duty as the highest virtue, and all duty is directed towards one day regaining their lost worlds. The races they themselves conquer are used to exploit resources in support of this ultimate goal. Our hero is Shane Evert, a gifted linguist who leads a translator-courier corp in the service of the alien leader, First Captain Lyt Ahn. The book title refers to the use of a Pilgrim as a universal motif of the human condition, which becomes a symbol for the nascent resistance movement. Absorbing, warmly human — at times captivating — the novel is Dickson at his finest, and that is a high level of writing indeed.
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Actually ... there might be a way out2013-06-11 15:28:32 by Glibbons
Niven & Pournelle wrote a science fiction version of Dante's Inferno.
A science fiction writer dies and wakes up in hell. He'd invented a religion for an alien race in one of his books, which violated the "thou shalt have no other god" commandment. The writer ponders your very question: "What is the point of eternal punishment if you can't learn from it?"
The writer eventually discovers there IS a way out of hell - although it is very very tough way out.
A good read:
Go see the movie2006-04-01 03:48:33 by -
Assuming, like you said, that the latest pictures don't disprove the face, implications are whatever you imagine. That silly movie - mission to mars - does about a good a job as anyone would expect from hollywood: we discover face, solve the puzzle of interfacing with alien technology/communication, and off someone goes into wonderland via a wormhole or something. No biggie. I'm sure there are some better science fiction books on the subject and possibilities/implications. Would implications be that different if SETI found a real radio message from outer space? Maybe another forum would have a better answer? As far as getting insight from astro forum, Earth and Mars will still orbit the sun, life will go on, I will still have to wake up and go to work the next day
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