remotecomics replied to your post:I wonder how many sci-fi stories feature inhabited…How about ones that make up EVERYTHING too? You have so many that have all of these Earth-like qualities (in the plants, animals, etcetera), but not very many that go completely new. Because, really, a different planet would have nothing like what’s on Earth. Mini-rant…
I can understand basing alien planet things on earth things because…well, write what you know. You add too many completely baseless outlandish things for the sake of making it as wholly alien as possible and you could start losing people, or making exposition such a chore that it pushes the actual story aside. It’s like the neverending fantasy battle of “How many terms can I make up before I start sounding like Ariel’s seagull pal?”.
Star Wars style “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away there were humans all over the place for no particular reason” doesn’t really make sense, but I won’t hold it against a writer for being like “okay, this is my alien version of a dog and this is my alien version of a goldfish and this is my alien version of a cactus” or something like that. It’s like how with Little Shop of Horrors they combined an avocado and a flytrap to make something alien-yet-relatable.
I’d like to add that although it’s ridiculous to expect everything out there to conform to our norms, it’s equally ridiculous to expect nothing to. Certain templates just work and most likely will repeat naturally. Even the humanoid aliens idea isn’t ridiculous, it’s just ridiculous to expect them all to be Planets of Hats.
The ideal would probably be more of a mix and match thing. But it’s also plausible to think that in a mix and match setting, a story is going to focus more on the things like us which we’re more likely to try and interact with regularly. Take Star Trek for example… (Bad example in some ways with their hat worlds and humaniens, but…) There were all kinds of weird beings we hardly understood or outright didn’t which still qualified as life. But we mostly just hung out with the guys we could relate to and interact with more fluidly. There were even entire stories dedicated to the idea that we messed up and didn’t understand that a form of life was in fact life, and were accidentally killing it.
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- tentaclesandtypography said: So would Audrey II make good guacamole?
- sliverdemon said: It’s weird to think that no truly alien perspective exists in fiction yet. All aliens in literature, even the most extreme ones, are products of human imagination.
- allacharade said: Lem’s Solaris (less so the movie) is about trying to make an actually alien thing. it isn’t a great book, and they still spend most of it interacting with humanoid projections, but it’s an attempt.
- chameleonserkets said: I think it’s a lot because if you want to write a planet that’s habitable by advanced lifeforms, as far as we know there is a pattern to follow. The atmosphere, the rainforests in the equatorial regions with deserts in the tropics and cold poles etc
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