Learning To Love The Alien
After that, I more or less gave up on the alien business for the next fifteen years, but now I'm giving it serious thought again. It started with a short story, 'Dust', and grew from there into what's more of a scenario than any kind of future history. Just suppose we get one of the things we always thought we'd get in the future, back when the future was still a good place to be travelling towards. Suppose we get easy travel to other planets, right now. Suppose it's a gift from aliens who want to give us a helping hand. It isn't much of a gift - a few cold and dusty and barely habitable planets littered with ancient and mostly useless artifacts, but hey. What do we do with it? How would it change us? Would it change us?
I've been writing a few stories to explore the edges of this frame, but now I'm beginning to think that, after the next novel, I need to go a bit deeper. I need to take a good look at those aliens. What do they want? What are they? Not monsters from our ids, or distorted reflections of ourselves (or of our pets), that's for sure. Maybe in the end they're what they've always been - an articulation of the inhumanness of the universe. Or maybe they are their own selves, just as we are. I think it might be fun to find out.
Meanwhile, just to remind you, you can find one of those stories in my new ebook, City of the Dead.