Friday, October 24, 2008

Al Sevcik's "Alien Offer" (short story, alien invasion, free)

Illustration accompanying the HTML version of the short story titled Alien Offer by Al Sevcik at Project Gutenberg. Click to enlarge to original size.Much of this story sounds like a less interesting variation of plots from two Arthur Clarke novels - "Childhood's End" & (I think) "Garden of Rama" (with Gentry Lee). In the light of impending doom of earth, good aliens are offering to transport 1,00,000 human children to their world - so at least some of humanity will survive. There is a threat implicit too, like in "Garden of Rama".

By the end of it, humans would have trivially destroyed bad aliens ("Eleele") from another galaxy that have been destroying whole worlds with impunity! I found two things about these bad aliens very silly (apart from their so easy destruction):
  1. They're capable of travel across galaxies; yet they seek slaves rather than having machines do the work! And why bother with slaves of alien species you will have so much trouble working with? And if you do want slaves, why take a few rather than the whole world? Or at least the healthy samples rather than some picked at random?
  2. Their only motive is to destroy worlds inhabited by intelligent beings! They don't even seek these worlds for their own occupation - going to so much trouble traveling across galaxies to simply destroy worlds!

Fact sheet.

First published: Amazing Stories, January 1959.
Rating: B
Download full text from Project Gutenberg. [via QuasarDragon].