At the risk of accidentally helping the next would-be conqueror and subsequent ruler of the world, I want to talk about dystopias today.
When I read about cultures, past and present, there are some different things that I automatically start looking for or asking myself. When I see an imbalance of power, what comes to mind is “Where are the dangerous elements to the present power structure, and how have the rulers co-opted these elements and/or played them against each other so that they won’t pose a threat?” (more…)
This post originally appeared at The Oak Wheel on July 17th, 2014.
Second Contact? Near-First Contact?
I don’t really know what the best term would be, but what we’re talking about is that time after the first contact has been made between two alien civilizations, but not so long after that they’re well-acclimated to each other. In other words, early enough that even the xenophiles are experiencing culture shock.
As before, humans can play either side of the field in the options presented. (more…)
This post originally appeared at The Oak Wheel on June 3rd, 2014.
“Craphound had wicked yard-sale karma, for a rotten, filthy alien bastard. He was too good at panning out the single grain of gold in a raging river of uselessness for me not to like him— respect him, anyway. But then he found the cowboy trunk. It was two months’ rent to me and nothing but some squirrelly alien kitsch-fetish to Craphound.” Craphound, by Cory Doctorow.
The following First Contact scenarios can be used with humans on either side of the encounter. Don’t discount the possibility humans being the relatively more advanced civilization making contact, or both being at about the same level. Most of them can be combined with several others (consider how “missionary work” could be added to “information/signals only”). (more…)