Its history predates mythology; even beyond written word. Before people knew how to write it down, they knew we were not alone in the universe. Although the ‘veritable truth’ is more theory than actual evidence, aliens, in some form, have in fact been all around us for centuries. The great astronomers saw them in the stars. H.G. Wells wrote about them in The First Men in the Moon. And in 1947, in small town Roswell, New Mexico, they fell from the sky. Allegedly.
No one knows for sure what happened in Roswell. The government was quick to call it a top secret experiment. Others claimed bodies were recovered, along with the ship those bodies crash landed into Earth on. Whatever happened, no one can deny that something happened. They still celebrate that something in Roswell today at the UFO Festival held every year in July. For those of us who can’t make the trip to New Mexico, here are some alien inspired titles to hold you over.
The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. LeGuin: LeGuin’s Athsheans, are the nice kind of aliens. They are complex beings who communicate with sign language and prefer singing to fighting. Oh, and they are ruled by females…which seems to work out nicely for them.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: The Vogons aren’t necessarily evil or out to get us, they are mostly just rude. They aren’t too easy on the eyes either, described as slug like. You wouldn’t want to park your spaceship on their lawn.
Dreamcatcher by Stephen King: Byrum are perhaps the worst of the bunch, telepathic worms with razor sharp teeth. They enter through your brain, controlling you actions, and let’s not even talk about how they exit… It’s horror to the best of Stephen King’s ability, if you can stomach it.
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells: Forget about the Tom Cruise, explosion filled film. Wells gives us Martians. The worst kind. Arriving to Earth in cylinder shaped space ships; these beings are the stuff of nightmares. All tentacles and rage, so we can assume they didn’t just pop-in to say hello.
The Host by Stephenie Meyer: Yeah, she wrote Twilight. But her ‘Souls’ make Edward, look like, well, a sparkly vampire. They invade the minds of the people of Earth, controlling their every action, every thought until they fade away and cede control to their hosts. The best part? This hostile takeover occurs 20 years from our present day.
Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen: Jacobson’s aliens are the real kind, specifically the ones housed in Area 51. She interviews 20 men, now well into old age, who served at Area 51 and were privy to its secrets. She tells the story so many crafted in their heads: nuclear weapon testing, spaceships, and the cover-up the government denied. Can you handle the truth?
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Christina Bernecker is a training associate at OverDrive.