Sunday, May 18, 2008

Thematic Search: Stories featuring aliens, & first contact stories

While the two tags - "ET" & "First Contact" - have always existed here, former is now consistently applied to all applicable stories, including stories that were part of recent flood; "First Contact" currently matches many but not all applicable stories. These two tags currently fetch 123 & 27 stories, respectively.

Why "ET" & not the natural "alien"? No rational reason. I used it in first few stories, & now it's tagged to too many stories. Sorry.

Note all first contact stories aren't necessarily tagged "ET". E.g., Arthur Clarke's "Reunion" is about first contact with long lost cousins of humanity - not really aliens. Or, David Brin's "Reality Check" is about a philosophical argument on why there won't ever be any first contact; I didn't think it right to tag it "ET". There are a few other cases too.

I've exercised some judgment in when to apply the tags. There are stories featuring aliens in very minor or peripheral ways that are consciously not tagged "ET", e.g.

In addition, I also maintain a more accessible but very infrequently updated & manually prepared annotated list of first contact stories: story list, very brief description, download link if available, & the whole list ranked on that elusive attribute called quality. This list was last updated 27 August 2007 (yes - I know that's old!), & will usually be out of date relative list thrown up by "First Contact" tag because of manual element involved. Will notify when I update it next. It currently features 39 stories - from both this site & older Arthur Clarke Fansite.

Note the tag search of Blogger defaults the output list to 20 most recent entries; append "?max-results=150", e.g., to URL to fetch upto 150 entries.

The master tags list might feature more tags related to aliens.

If you are aware of any similar list elsewhere, please add a comment to the effect. Thank you.