Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

Aliens: Slobbering Geniuses.

Here’s something that drives me nuts: Aliens that have mastered technology, have built starships, have traveled all across the galaxy, and yet they run around naked, slobbering on themselves, with zero communication skills. What’s up with that?

25 replies to “Aliens: Slobbering Geniuses.”

Hmmm…. that sounds as credible as hacking an alien computer over wifi with a mac by sending a virus :DDDD

That’s what it takes to be advanced, Hugh! To reach such great heights of science one must throw away social norms like cleanliness and manners. If we are to ever make the leap to interstellar technologies, we must do the same!

We generally don’t talk to ants or mosquitoes before we crush them. Why would aliens treat us any differently — that is, if the worth of a being is in its technology. So the bigger question is, how is the worth of humanity calculated, both by the author, and the said slobbering aliens? Could it be that the lack of communication is the author’s device for making his protagonists more human than alien?

…and the fact that they have this advanced technology, but their weapons guidance systems can’t a hit single thing.

Is this in reference to District 9?

A behavior culturally relevant in their species might be reprehensible to us, and the vice versa might be true. Their worst could be their proper conduct. It’s only an issue of umwelts colliding; I suppose, if everything isn’t so incomprehensible, a tentative bridge between the two could grow, with an eternally tenuous result.

A great example of this overlap of Weltanschauung is The Shape of Thought by Ken Liu, which you can find in the short story collection The Other Half of the Sky, edited by Athena Andreadis and Kay Holt.

Blomkamp made it fairly clear that the Prawns in District 9 are divided into two genetically based castes, a ruling minority of thinkers and and a servile majority of workers. The former create the technology used the latter. Things go wrong when something—perhaps a plague or a mutiny—kills off all of the smart Prawns on the spacecraft save for Christopher, leaving the great mass of Prawns helpless and stranded.

Blomkamp also made it obvious that the prawns were an allegory to modern day illegal aliens in S. Africa from I think Zimbabwe. To the point that those interviewed early in the film saying very negative and horrid things about the aliens were real people, not actors, who were asked about the modern day human aliens in their country. Maybe humanity isn’t as far away from running around slobbering half-naked as we all like to think…

This is something I considered while revising my science fiction novel. It doesn’t make sense, especially if the aliens’ technology is more advanced than humans…unless it is an alien nude colony, and it floats their boat.

Ok wait wait – *puts on nerd cape* – You mean the drooling Aliens from Aliens? Cuz those guys were just weapons made by other humanoid aliens that also made us. And the other kind of popular aliens, the little green naked guys, well, an advanced civilization probably could care less about the stipulations and taboos of their own naked bodies. Or maybe they’re really good at body temperature control like monks. As for communication, maybe they communicate like whales…or sloths. Have you seen a sloth communicate? No? That’s because they’re telepathic ;)

Aliens used to want our women. No matter how inhuman and tentacled and absolutely-no–matching-DNA the male aliens were, they wanted human women.

Once in a while, the female aliens wanted human men. Those female aliens were hot by human male standards. I figured the human males who saw them coming were drooling, but off-camera.

That’s how I feel about robots in sci-fi. You’ve got these super-advanced, super-intelligent life-forms capable of all these awesome feats like recursive self-improvement, etc … and all they care about / exist in the story for, is being a robot, and/or destroying humans. The tiny scope of imagination there is painful and infuriating.

Hmm. If your hyperdrive broke down in the middle of nowhere, and you forgot to pack any sort of suit, you wouldn’t be in a very sociable mood either, especially when the local wildlife starts getting curious.

2. All the alien geniuses are back home making tons of money selling starships to the expansionist nudist colonists.

Eh. Maybe there’s some chemical in the slobber that enhances their intellect. Alien caffeine if you will.

Check out the movie Pandorum for a possible explanation.

*** Spoilers be below. Care if you don’t want what is a moderately ok sci-fi movie ruined***

Basically imagine if a generational ship went wrong, but not wrong enough to blow itself up. In essence, imagine if Jules had run into Silo 18 25 years sooner, fairly close after the collapse. The residents would appear as incredibly savage and backwards, but still retain knowledge of destructive technology, if little else.

Oh, darn! My aliens -are- naked, but they have laser guns! I guess they kinda “wear” them. And, only the controllers, or makers of my (likely cloned and dumbed down) Greys are the geniuses. Slobbering: no. Speaking: no. Telepathic?…could be…(I’m still working on book 3 in my series… ;)

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