In recent posts, I’ve written about some of the ghost stories I’ve heard about from assorted observatories. However, there’s another topic people frequently ask about, and that’s whether or not I’ve ever seen a UFO or evidence of aliens. The short answer is that I have not. The closest I’ve come is that my undergraduate advisor, physicist C.B. Moore of New Mexico Tech, claimed to be responsible for the Roswell Incident, but that’s a story for another time.
In fact, looking up at the stars night after night, it’s hard not to wonder about the possibility of alien civilizations. There are so many and we now know that many of those stars have planets. It’s hard to imagine that life hasn’t evolved out there somewhere. Now what will that life be like? I hope it will be peaceful and benevolent and we can learn from our contact with it. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee this will be true. In fact, Stephen Hawking recently said in an interview with the newspaper El País, “If aliens visit us, the outcome could be much like when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach.”
This essentially summarizes the premise of T. Jackson King’s space opera novel Earth vs. Aliens. As the novel begins, astronauts mapping objects in the Kuiper Belt beyond Pluto’s orbit encounter an alien ship. The aliens offer to open diplomatic ties and invite the human captain to a meeting. When the humans arrive, the aliens pounce on them and attempt to eat them. Thinking fast, the humans left behind aboard the Uhuru—Jack Munroe and Max Piakowski—find a way to defeat the aliens and return home, but not before learning that by going beyond the orbit of Pluto, humans have shown that they are now subject to proving themselves and if they fail, they will be subjected by one of the many races of the stars and used as food stock.
Despite this clear threat and video footage of the initial attack, not all humans believe the alien threat. Without the support of Earth, Jack and Max must find a way to learn more about the predatory aliens and keep them from conquering the solar system. Through a series of engagements, they find allies among fellow humans and capture alien technology that help in their campaign. The upshot is an exciting novel with enough solid physics to make it believable and a look at several plausible predatory alien species with advanced star drives and weapons. In the end, the novel’s most compelling question is whether or not humans are a sufficiently dangerous predator to stand up to the alien threat.
You can find Earth vs. Aliens in paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.
The 1979 movie Alien demonstrated that predatory aliens can be a great subject for a horror story. Although T. Jackson King opts to tell a more science fictional story, he does show why encounters with aliens could be truly terrifying.