Science Fiction Literature/Aliens
The story that centers on aliens has long been a staple of science fiction. Perhaps the most famous and earliest work in this subgenre was H. G. Wells' 1898 novel War of the Worlds where invaders from Mars ravage the British countryside for a good time. After invading our humble world, many aliens want to occupy and rule it, usually to strip Earth's resources. Apparently, we aren't doing that fast enough. Sometimes aliens are not portrayed as hostile, but simply different. These aliens, whether individuals or societies, grok that it's better to get along with us Earthlings, and often enlighten, or advance us in our development. Another alien subgenre of science fiction spends little time revealing the aliens to us, but instead focuses on our reaction to learning "We are not alone." The changes we as individuals or as a society undergo forms the basis of the story. Think of Spielberg's movie: Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This subgenre is called the First Contact story. The one final subgenre for the alien tale is the Interspecies Relations story. Sometimes aliens interact with humankind not to conquer or to benefit us, but rather for mysterious purposes of their own. The catch-all category for this subgenre, when one of the other three don't fit, is the Interspecies Relations subgenre.
Examples of prominent authors and some of their works in each of these four subgenres of the alien subgenre of science fiction are the following:
Alien Invasion and Occupation[edit | edit source]
Greg Bear Forge of God Series The Forge of God (1987)
John Christopher Tripods Series The City of Gold and Lead (1967)
Arthur C. Clarke Childhood's End (1953)
Samuel R. Delany Babel-17 (1966)
L. Ron Hubbard Mission Earth Series Battlefield Earth (1982) An Alien Affair (1986)
Anne McCaffrey Tower and the Hive Series Damia (1992) Damia's Children (1993)
Ian McDonald Chaga Series Chaga (1995)
Larry Niven Footfall (1985)
Harry Turtledove Colonization Series Down to Earth (2000) Aftershocks (2001)
List of all science fiction books
Aliens and alien societies are still within the realm of science fiction.
First Contact[edit | edit source]
Peter F Hamilton Pandora's Star, Judas Unchained
Interspecies Relations[edit | edit source]
Solaris - Stanislaw Lem (1961); While Solaris starts as exploration of an unacknowledged first contact situation, ultimately the novel evolves into the exploration of issues regarding interspecies relation dealing with an extremely alien intelligence and problems of miscommunication.
Ender's Game- Orson Scott Card (1985)