One of my closest friends is a fan of a sci-fi show, not so much I think for the sci-fi as the characterizations. There are, as she says, ten gazillion plotholes in everything, but the types of aliens they come up with are really, really creative. And let’s not forget the parent that spawned Torchwood – Dr. Who. If you want an example of real creepy creativity, try Blink. How can you not love quantum-locked psychopathic otherworldly creatures?

T also imperiously demands asks me on occasion to create aliens so she can use them in her fanfiction. This is one of my most favourite things to do for her, and even if she doesn’t use em, they’re still fun to think about.

Metal Eating Aliens

me: how about a metal eating alien
maybe that’s what Dell laptops suffer from, you know?
like, feed off power?
that’s why they have battery recalls

This would explain a lot. I mean, aliens don’t always have to be big scary things, right? Small microbey-types would also qualify. So what they’d do is, get into laptops and things – because the only thing they love above all else is the smell and taste of overheated battery metal. Specifically, Lithium.

Alienus Split-Infinitivus

me: i know
an alien that eats split infinitives
because it sees them as a kind of threat to the preservation of language
T says:
how do you even eat a split infinitive?
me: like, out of a book?
suddenly “to boldly go where no man has gone”
“boldly going where no man has gone”
T says:

I don’t understand why this wasn’t a good idea. It was spawned, in case you’re wondering, by something my professor said in my rhetoric class. Apparently some choleric old bore from the Rhe department at UT wrote to the Daily Texan every. single. time. someone used a split infinitive. Or started with an And or a But. Or used absolute clauses. Or mixed up her’s and hers – actually, I’d send a letter for that myself.

Evil Dolphins

me: an alien that imitates dolphins but drowns people so it can eat their waterlogged bodies
oh oh oh and that’s why the japanese keep fishing them

T says:
because they’re…. japanese aliens

I mean, why not. Alien dolphins, because this shape-shifting species didn’t want to lower its intelligence too much and figured dolphins were their best bet. And then the Japanese realized what was up, because they secretly have a secret alien discovery agency and were slaughtering them before the world whatever environmental agency realized what they were doing. Except nobody can ever know that the Japanese are our saviors. Because the truth about aliens is too awful.

Graffiti Aliens

me: i can think of a solid alien that moves via stone… like grafitti aliens
T says:
hmmm both air and solids!
that’s kind of a cool idea
moving graffiti
but what do they do? how do they survive?
eat rock? eat paint?
maybe they’re porous and feed on air
or on emotion, chemicals, etc
like, anti-establishment graffiti rapidly changes near universities?
it doesn’t make much sense, but i was thinking, like, you have emotions, right?
and we probably exude these in large quantities
out to the environment
large to the aliens, maybe
T says:
and they feed off of them
and you can have these graffiti wildly changing colors and shapes and stuff
T says:
what does the graffiti want on earth?
maybe they’re just tourists who’ve gone wild
being all rebel-like, right?
OOOH good idea
“aha! we shall go to this little blue planet and EAT ALL THEIR CHEMICALS muahahahaah watch us be totally REBEL LIKE”

Bubble Blowing Aliens

This one, T actually used. I mean, jellyfish are stupid, right? (except for the Man O’ War, which will kill you if it stings) So why not make em aliens? They arrived in earth, found themselves some water to exist in, and started blowing out strings of bubbles. Except, of course, they somehow managed to learn Morse, and began to communicate in bubbles of various sizes. My original idea called for the protagonist to use one of those U-tubes to isolate and study the bubbles, but for some reason that got thrown out.

Pink Eaters

The germ of this idea was also mine, although T turned it into total, complete, awesome crack. She wanted to write a Valentine’s Day fic. I wanted all the pink in the world to spontaneously disappear. So of course, I suggested an alien species that ate pink. All the pink. Everywhere.

I’m so good. I should just ditch this engineering degree thing (that’s for nerds, really) and write sci-fi (which is for geeks). Seriously, though, I believe most strongly in extraterrestrial life. I mean, we’re one tiny insignificant planet (we’re not even as big as Jupiter or as cool as Saturn, for heaven’s sake), stuck out in the outer spiral of the Milky Way, which itself is bumbling along at the edges of the universe. How arrogant would we have to be to believe that we’re the only planet capable of supporting life?

I even have an excellent landing spot all picked out for the first alien invasion, in case they want to consult me: the top of the Frost bank in Austin. It honestly looks like an eyrie for insectoid creatures.

photo courtesy

Speaking of sci-fi, I think I know what my thesis is going to look like. My thesis advising session, with about fifty other students, was scary in that they wanted our two readers and our abstracts in by the end of the semester. Currently my thesis is either going to explore the possibility of sci-fi solving the conflicts between science and society in the future or how those conflicts are explored in sci-fi in the first place. And if you think you’re sensing a theme here (sci-fi), you’re probably right.


2 thoughts on “Xenobiology

  1. “I’m so good. I should just ditch this engineering degree thing (that’s for nerds, really) and write sci-fi (which is for geeks).”

    You honestly should, this post was hilarious!

    1. thank you! 🙂 but it would kind of be a waste of thousands of dollars of my undergraduate degree, so maybe sci-fi can be what i do on the side. and then when that career really takes off i’ll be rich and famous!!!

      i think it’s a good plan myself.

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