John C. Wright (johncwright) wrote,
John C. Wright

How to Survive an Alien Attack

The above reminds me of the following I once wrote for Meme Therapy:

My Invasion Plans

We apologize for the inconvenience, but the planet Earth is scheduled for alien invasion. Your species’ custom is important to us. Please leave a message at the tone indicating your preferred choice of alien invader and why.

1. The aliens we MOST want to be invaded by are, of course, the organ- harvesting poison-gas-spewing gray aliens from M. Night Shyamalan’s SIGNS. This, for several reasons. First, they seem unable to organize an actual military occupation: they merely raid and leave. Second, they have a fatal weakness to a substance commonly found in abundance on our planet, which makes their invasion of us about as absurd as Earthmen invading Venus, whose atmosphere is mostly sulfuric acid. Third, their weakness would have been entirely nonoperative against them, had they remembered to wear their space armor, or, for that matter, their Mackintoshes and galoshes. It is to be devoutly hoped that we are invaded by such galactic ninnies: they are not smart enough to come in out of the rain.

2. The Martians of HG Wells are much more efficient and ruthless, of course, but they land on a world and feast on the blood of the inhabitants by injecting it into their own veins, without first checking for disease-bearing microbes, or, for that matter, peanut intolerance. One might excuse this oversight on the grounds that they long ago eliminated pathogens on their world, making deadly viruses as extinct as the dodo. On the other hand, no one goes to another world without quarantine procedures. So the Martians are ninnies also, and we could hold them off for a week or so, while they caught the sniffles and died. While their heat rays and black smoke might pose a problem for unarmed civilians, a fleet of ships like the HMS Thunderchild are clearly their match; or we could just shovel dirt over their shells when they landed, since they sit in a crater bottom for a day or three recovering from the shock of being fired by cannon from Mars.

3. The organ-harvesting aliens from Sylvia and Gerry Anderson’s UFO are next. While they occasionally can do effective acts of sabotage, such as making a human being into a time bomb or giving them evil ESP, the threat they pose is so minimal, that their raids into Earth space do not even come to the attention of the people of Earth. The Earth population during wartime is not making the sacrifices and enduring the hardships of London in the Blitz; they are not even enduring the fears of civilians in the Cold War. The UFO Menace is so slight, that they can be fended off by a secret organization with fewer members than an average aircraft carrier: SHADO has one moonbase with three good-looking WACs in purple wigs, three space-craft that shoot one missile each, three aircraft, a halftrack and a submarine. Meanwhile, the UFO men are from a dying planet, which means each attack will be weaker and more desperate than the last. Southern France is more likely to conquer the world than the green-liquid- breathers.

4. Much more menacing are the aliens from INDEPENDENCE DAY. Unlike the goofballs mentioned above, they actually have a military organization, large scale ships, firepower, and pose a real threat. However, their electronic counter-intelligence is not as sophisticated as my Norton Firewall I bought for my laptop, so maybe we do not need to worry about their superior alien intelligence either. Dorks.

5. The Martians from MARS ATTACKS can be done in with Country Music. I would not normally mention this during an interview by a serious SF Brain Parade asking a serious SF question to a serious SF author about our very, very serious genre, which is all about Space Pirates kidnapping Space Princesses, except that an invasion by these Martians would allow the Dixie Chicks, by playing COWBOY TAKE ME AWAY at high volume to emerge as truly patriotic heroines, and mollifying their flyover-country audiences.

6. One of the more serious movies in our serious genre is, of course, QUEEN OF OUTER SPACE, starring Zsa Zsa Gabor. The invasion here would consist of a single shot from a femm-ray cannon that would wipe out our planet instantly, so you would think I would not request to be invaded by the Venusians. However, Zsa Zsa, when she was young, had quite an appealing feminine mystique (she waz built like da Brick House!), and in order to overcome this particular threat, all we need do is offer the Evil Queen some quick plastic surgery and Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom, and we are set. The Venusians all wear short skirts and high heels and they have showgirl legs, so, even if we loose the war, it can’t be all that bad.

7. Invasion by the Ferengi of STAR TREK NEXT GEN is next on my request list of wimpy, dorky invaders. The super evil evilness of the Ferengi consists of the fact that they are (gasp of horror, please) Yankee Traders. (This phrase is used twice by Lt. Data when they are first introduced). Getting Ferengied by the Ferengi is about like being robbed by a Robber Baron: in other words, a guy comes up to you and sells you something you want, like oil, steel, or computer software. He does it again and again until your economy is humming and you are rich. Then you complain about what a bum he is. It is true that they might try to sell you shabby goods. Caveat emptor.

8. Invasion by the PREDATORS is my next request. They have no military organization, and only form big-game hunting parties. In other words, they are Count Zaroff from Space. As far as I can tell, they are as completely honorable as Barsoomians, and will holster their fire-arms if their prey does not have a fire-arm, and they will not kill pregnant game. We can defeat them easily with our current military, merely be having our Navy servicewomen go out on long cruises with all the lusty young sailors in our fleet, and then, when they have a bun in the oven, muster out and shoot the Rastas From Space, who will not shoot back. Our girls in uniform are pretty badass, and could probably hand them their yarbles with not much effort.

9. Invasion by the Peacekeepers of FARSCAPE is my next request. Now, the Peacekeepers, unlike all the other goons and slobs listed above, are actually squared away, so being defeated by them in no dishonor to us. It is like being creamed by the Spartans. Even if you loose, no one will point and laugh at you, unlike if you loose to, say, Ewoks. (Boy, I’d hate to be a Stormtrooper from that unit back the barracks, trying to explain how my tank was put out of commission by a teddy bear armed with lumber.) But we might not lose to the Peacekeepers, since all we have to do is fight them in the desert, until they faint from the heat.

10. The last invader, the one I do not want to be invaded by, is the most sinister and powerful of all. You might guess that I mean Ming of Mongo, who is the most tyrannical of all space tyrants, and who likes to play with planets before destruction. While I fear him (and who does not?) there is one invader I fear more. I mean the psychohistorians from FOUNDATION. They will not fire a shot. We will not even be aware of the war. They will land an agent or two, maybe publish a book, maybe organize a trade union or an election campaign, maybe influence a thought or two with their brain powers, and then depart. Math does the rest. We will stare in bewilderment as riots and changes in demographics, unexpected movements of immigration or sudden shifts in the economy, and we will see no one and nothing to fight. Then, one day, with the inevitability of mathematics, ships land with their Spaceship-and-Sun emblems of the Second Galactic Empire emblazoned on their hulls, and we willingly or unwillingly (doesn’t matter what we do, the result is the same) join and vow loyalty to Trantor. Now, if you have to get conquered, and there is no way out, these are the Psychohistorians are the guys you want to have to conquer you. First, joining the empire ensures peace and stability and, best of all, trade. You can sell earth-goods all the way to Terminus without worrying about Space Pirates. Second, no one fires a shot, no death camps, no torture amplifiers, no man- eating lizard-men. The only draw back is a complete and horrifying loss of freedom and democracy. No one votes for a psychohistorian any more than they vote for a jedi.

As a thought-experiment, let us assume the invaders land in order, and see what would result:
1. SIGNS aliens land in the rain, and die.

2. WAR OF THE WORLDS Martians land in the rain, get a cold, and die.

3. UFO aliens blown out of the sky by secret organization, and die.

4. INDEPENDENCE DAY aliens blow up White House, Empire State Building, and Mount Rushmore, but a fourteen-year-old hacker opens up their Force Shield, and a drunk pilot kamekazis into the mothership. They die, we get their equipment and reverse engineer it.

5. MARS ATTACKS Martians land, but after invasion #4, we nuke them before they get the hatches open. Or play Dixie Chicks.

6. Lonely goodlooking girls from Venus attack. Maybe we can put up the force screen we reverse-engineered from invasion #4, and suvive the Femm-ray long enough to apologize, sweet talk the little gals, and make some time.

7. Ferengi invade and … it is like having Standard Oil, US Steel, and Microsoft offer you a new range of products. We get rich, so we can buy the goodlooking alien babes from invasion #6 a diamond ring or mink coat.

8. Predators come. By this time the goodlooking alien babes are happily married and well armed, so they can kill off the Preditors with their femm-rays.

9. Peacekeepers. Fight them in the Sahara, that is our only hope. Unlike all the other invaders, they are not nincompoops, so we probably loose this one rather badly. The only advantage: interfertile. Humans are badass enough that, despite our weak eyes, we may be allowed to join the Sabacean military and serve as auxiliaries.

10. Psychohistorians. It does not matter what the Sabaceans do, or the goodlooking alien showgirls from Venus, or Supergirl from plant Krypton (or Argo, if you insist). The Earth-Conquering Peacekeepers will be overwhelmed by the forces of history, and will join up (willingly or not, it does not matter) with the Second Galactic Empire, and now Earth has two layers of rulership. Game over. The good thing about Psychohistory is, of course, from now on you can rest assured that all wars and economic depressions have been accounted for in Seldon’s Plan, so if your planet suffers, it will hereafter be for the greater good of the Empire. And the Second Empire, by exterminating the Predators and protecting the trade routes of the Ferengi, might allow the dying worlds of Mars, UFO, SIGNS and INDEPENDENCE DAY, to revive themselves or migrate.
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