We like to make it so simple. We imagine First Contact as occurring with just one alien civilization. But what about two alien civilizations? Better yet- what about two conflicting alien civilizations? I know- farfetched, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. If there is another civilization out there, then why not two, three or four? As we know from human experience- often intelligent beings don’t get along so well. Could humans get caught in an extraterrestrial squabble of some sort? It would certainly make things more difficult. Not only would we have to cope with First Contact human response issues, but also find a way to sort out alien conflicts and decide how to proceed. It would step up the urgency of the situation significantly, especially if the aliens were hostile with each other. Now granted, having two competing alien civilizations announce themselves at one time seems pretty unlikely. But if they are concerned about currying favor and developing a relationship with humanity, conceivably the actions of one alien civilization attempting to make contact with humans could lead to a preemptive hello from a competing group. Why would we be so popular? Who knows? Considering how unpopular we are right now (with no contact at all) that would depend on alien motivations. Those motivations could be quite complex, and perhaps beyond our understanding.
Still, it does raise an important point. Have we considered the complexity that First Contact could bring if there are multiple civilizations out there in contact and conflicting with each other? It’s the scenario I explore in my new book “The Ashland City Landing”. When I started writing the blog five years ago the primary purpose was to develop ideas for the novel and now it’s finally done. Here’s the synopsis:
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.