There are millions of people around the world who believe that in the next thousand years or so we will find intelligent aliens or that they will find us. Most of these people believe they will be very similar to us, even possibly the creators and designers of the human race. Maybe in the very least, distant cousins.
Here is the sixth Science Fiction Taboo Writers Should Break
Aliens Should Be Alien
Television and Movie Science Fiction use humans with a strange shape of ear, a long tongue, or wearing a rubber alien suit, because it is hard to make stories about truly alien aliens. More often than not, aliens are not characters, but prop monsters, especially in movies, making the story not Science Fiction, but a horror movie with sci-fi elements.
I don’t discount the possibility that an alien could be humanoid with symmetric bodies, a head, arms, legs, hands, mouths and eyes that work similarly to human equivalents. However, it may be unlikely that they work the same way. Sharks and Dolphins are similar looking but very different creatures, so it could be possible that aliens may look like humans in many ways.
An alien race may have two sexes but are not mammals and therefore will not have breasts or lips. They may communicate through sound but may not be able to mimic human sound. Lips are used for drinking milk from breasts. On earth there are many ways in which a creature feeds its young. Breast milk is one way but this may not be common on other planets. Creatures without breasts do not have lips.
Here’s why I think this Science Fiction Taboo needs to be broken.
Again, I’m just going to come right back to my reason for breaking all these taboos – to help you get your imagination out of the box! Why does an alien have to be non-humanoid? Maybe, just maybe, ours is not the only star system that is inhabited by humans. Imagine if there were thousands of worlds in millions of galaxies all populated with humans. What could that mean?
What if tens of thousands of years ago humanity was thousands of years more advanced than we are now and started exploring the stars? What if the ark of the great flood was actually a starship that took humanity to the stars? What if…?
Now, we meet them again in our explorations of space. Would they be alien? Yes! For thousands of years they would have developed on different worlds, formed different cultures and languages. Maybe, due to some environmental differences, they even developed slightly different appearances – such as on a world with lesser or greater gravity than Earth. One race would be weaker and taller than Earthlings while the other would be shorter and stronger than us.
Here’s one for you – what if they were from Hollow Earth? They migrated to the center of the Earth during some great catastrophe and created a great society there and now, thousands of years later, they return to the surface. Are they human or aliens? Or are they both? What might the differences be in culture, language, appearance and beliefs?
For all intents and purposes they are all very much alien but they are also still very much human.
What do you think? Should Science Fiction always keep aliens completely alien? Would you write a story with human aliens?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can leave leave a comment here…