In Sci Fi aliens serve a myriad purposes, but most often as humans in bad makeup. One reason for this is so that the author can tell an allegory without having to worry about being considered racist, or misogynistic, anti immigrant, anti american, etc. Also, if they act/react like humans but are described as ‘Other’ the reader has a much easier time relating, we can understand their motivations and like, or dislike, them. This makes telling a complex story much easier and makes it more enjoyable to read.
They also make better class of zombie, vampire, elf (don’t tell me Spock’s not an elf), gods (small g), etc. In other words they let us retell stories again and again just changing the protagonists and antagonists, the setting and the point of view, creating an endless array of potential stories to tell ourselves.
As a dilettante in the sciences my current expectation is that life at least at the level of microbes is fairly to extremely common, but life at the level of complexity/sophisticated seen on Earth is rare, possibly to the point of singularity. My expectation is that if life will probably come in many forms but from a terrestrial world you will get terrestrial looking creatures that, to the citified might just be one other weird ass racoon, or chicken, etc, they are unlikely to look like Predators etc. Would an intelligent dinosaur or wolf be horrific? Leaving aside the potential they’d consider us good eating or a lower class of pest that is.
And while a Non – Terrestrial world’s environment could easily produce creatures we have a hard time relating to (maybe they’d even be horrific in appearance.) They’re unlikely to want to interact with us except on a purely business matters since its unlikely we’d be of much interest to them. Though again empire builders might not care about having to live in domed cities while the locals mine the tar pits.
So having wandered all over the topic, what is my point you ask?
I don’t really have one I guess, I was thinking about the Post a Day challenge and then decided to post about what I would write if I take up the NaNoWriMo challenge and wandered off from there. Am I going to write Sci Fi again, I think so. Will it have aliens, again I think so, though perhaps not obviously. Am I going to try to do NaNoWriMo…who knows…if a big job hits at work then certainly not, 1,700 words a day and 80 hour work weeks do not mix. But the aether appears clear at this time. So Maybe.