Thursday, May 27, 2010

Malcolm Jameson's "Alien Envoy" (short story, first contact, free): Friendly aliens want a trade treaty

One of the illustrations accompanying the original publication in Astounding Science Fiction magazine, November 1944 issue, of short story Alien Envoy by Malcolm Jameson. Image shows the Ursan envoy shaking hands with human representative after signing the treaty.While the official message of the story is: meetings between humans & aliens with completely different body chemistry & bodily needs need not be of conflict & can be of cooperation, somewhere there is also a message about military might not giving the option to the weak to not sign the treaty. Humans are the weak here.

Story summary.

Ursan are the alien invaders of Sol. They've been coming in for decades now, & it's only human attackers on them who have suffered casualties. They mine radium from gas giants; radium is ... sort of ... a vitamin to them - & one they don't have enough of.

Now finally, human military has hit one of their lone ships. Investigations will reveal it has a survivor, & that that survivor is their ambassador with a treaty offer - give us unlimited access to Jupiter & Saturn that are like our natural habitat, & you can have smaller terrestrial worlds in our system.

Fact sheet.

First published: Astounding, November 1944.
Download full text as part of the scans of Astounding issue where it originally appeared.
Caveat: Scans of this story are of somewhat poor quality. Not so poor as to be unreadable, but bad enough to be an irritant.
Rating: B.