Story summary.A new Hollywood movie, "Monsters from Space" is about to be released. It features malevolent aliens from Sirius. Lot of money is pumped into its publicity. Also, a shady scientist is brought to make a statement that if there ever is First Contact, it will likely be with malevolent aliens.
That is when the aliens arrive - from Rigel system. They are from Third Galactic Empire, & include Prince Zervashni & his "chief adviser, Sigisnin II, Professor of Astropolitics" - among others.
With the mothership hanging in earth's skies, a diplomatic team arrives at New York facilities of UN. Public fed on yet to be released Monsters publicity is scared. A mob kills the alien visitors!
Prince Zervashni tries making contact a second time, but this the diplomats came armed & "on the other side of the planet". News & rumors of New York had reached there, & alien met the same fate with the local mob - though locals did suffer casualties.
Prince Zervashni was still wondering of a way of making peaceful contact when "rocket bombs started climbing up towards his fleet"! That is when he acted. Humans were gone in 20 minutes, & painlessly.
References.This story makes several references to movies & other stories. I haven't seen or read either of these references.
- In the text of the story: Hollywood movie, "The Thing from Another World" (1951), directed by Howard Hawks.
Another Hollywood movie "The Thing" (1982), directed by John Carpenter, was a remake. This is said to be the better known of the two, but I am no Hollywood expert!
Both movies are adaptations of the plot of the novella "Who Goes There?" by John W Campbell, Jr (written under pseudonym "Don A Stuart") (Astounding, August 1938).
- In the text of the story: H G Wells' "War of the Worlds".
- When introducing this story in "Collected Stories": Another Hollywood movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951), directed by Robert Wise.
- When introducing this story in "Collected Stories": Another Hollywood movie, "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), directed by Steven Spielberg.
- When introducing this story in "Collected Stories": Darth Vader, a fictional character in the Star Wars universe is mentioned.
Fact sheet."Publicity Campaign", short story, review
First published: London Evening News, 1953.