My advice to extraterrestrials considering a visit? There should be no “take me to your leader” moment. Any extraterrestrials interested in making First Contact with humans should bypass governments all together. Why? No government represents the majority of humans. Governments are messy, slow-moving, bureaucratic machines that don’t respond well to change. Humans, however, are remarkably resilient and we respond well to change. So, bypass the government and go straight to the people.
Now, all of that said, I don’t have any indication that this is something likely to happen anytime soon. And if First Contact does occur it will most likely be thanks to the hard work of scientists dedicated to finding an engineered signal in far-off space. Under those circumstances there will not be any dramatic moment. It could be years of research in deciphering such a signal and perhaps designing a response.
But for the sake of argument, let’s say that an extraterrestrial civilization was interested in saying hello. How would they best accomplish such a greeting? Clearly, the primary consideration would be their motivation for making First Contact in the first place. Let’s assume, though, that they want to start a relationship with humans. You would imagine it would be best to forge that relationship without the entanglement of politics. We Americans love to assume that extraterrestrials would make contact with Americans. We often self-appoint the President of the United States as the defacto representative of the planet. This is insulting to the rest of the countries on Earth and quite naïve. I love America, but like every other country on the planet we are wrapped up in a variety of political complications. First Contact with America could set the Arab world against visiting extraterrestrials. It would most certainly make the Chinese and Russians quite unhappy.
So, my advice- bypass governments and go straight to the people. How do you best do that? I’ll talk about that next week. In the meantime, this topic is featured prominently in my new science fiction novel “The Ashland City Landing”. Alex Morrison has made a new friend on the Internet. It’s a relationship that could drive his wife and friends half-crazy and that’s if federal agents and newspaper reporters don’t blow it wide open before the big moment. Can Alex hold it all together before The Ashland City Landing?
The Ashland City Landing is a sometimes-funny, sometimes-serious, science fiction novel about the practicalities of meeting space aliens and having to save the world from itself and also perhaps those very same aliens. Alex fights to keep his sanity, while concocting an introduction that will change the course of human civilization. He’s being pursued by a journalist desperate for a cover story. Alex’s best friend is a real ass and sometimes his psychologist. Alex’s wife does her best to be the Southern belle, but that’s not going too well. And yet he needs them both to pull it off. Along the way Alex enlists help from a burned-out astrophysicist and meets federal agents who are definitely not amused.
The Ashland City Landing is available in printed and Kindle electronic format through Amazon USA, Amazon Europe affiliates and through Nook at Barnes and Noble.