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Scifi Aliens Are Not Necessary. .....But They Should Always Be Entertaining


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I read something like this once:

"If you can replace the aliens with humans in your story then you could do without them."

Often aliens are just placeholders for current or past human cultures anyway.

I am not saying it's wrong, just that whether one wants to use placeholder for a human culture ir not, hopefully they are aware that they could get by just as easily or even easier from a worldbuilding perspective by just using humans in the first place.

Satire Aliens: I don't care if an alien race is really a subset of human culture if they are hlilarious. DS9 klingons for the win!

Gowron anyway.

It does what entertainment is supposed to...entertain.

Spoiler

2e4e319ba6c146572fe6c8f2c2338649.jpg

 

Necessary Aliens: If your story's aliens COULD NOT be replaced with humans in your story and still do the basic plot, THEN you you know you have done a good enough job at making them not like us in either behavior or habits that they are needed to make the story work. Basically if you can take aliens out of the story and it changes virtually nothing...that's kind of sad.

SW I am looking at you.

 

Yet for the most part I enjoy the human satire of the Ferengi and Klingons on DS9.

Edited by Spacescifi
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1 hour ago, Spacescifi said:

Gowron anyway.

I loved Gowron... but in terms of comical aliens, in my humble opinion, I'm afraid he only comes in second to the absolutely brilliant Londo Mollari, from Babylon 5 
 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Just Jim said:

I loved Gowron... but in terms of comical aliens, in my humble opinion, I'm afraid he only comes in second to the absolutely brilliant Londo Mollari, from Babylon 5 
 

 

 

 

Well yes, Mollari has him beat.

 

Gowron was much funnier in a game than DS9 but the eyes are always awesome.

 

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Has who? Me - yes.

But its characters are humans, mostly.
Just usually mutated and always loaded. Many of them- never washed.

Edited by kerbiloid
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Not you, I meant OP.

I mentioned it because in Dune universe there are no aliens, (if we don't count the native fauna of Arrakis). Most of the flora and fauna is explained as having been transferred from Earth and adapted to local conditions. Certainly no sentient aliens are present. Characters are all humans, or at least genetically engineered humans, Leto II being... well a spoiler I suppose.

Humans there have a non-nuclear usage treaty, but every big family has a stockpile in case hostile aliens show up.

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20 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

I am not saying it's wrong, just that whether one wants to use placeholder for a human culture or not, hopefully they are aware that they could get by just as easily or even easier from a worldbuilding perspective by just using humans in the first place.

If you were to say so I'd say that given the fact that culture and language barriers are real on Earth, any kind of aliens aren't necessary in any story... You just haven't seen or heard enough of the world yet.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, YNM said:

If you were to say so I'd say that given the fact that culture and language barriers are real on Earth, any kind of aliens aren't necessary in any story... You just haven't seen or heard enough of the world yet.

 

Hmmm....there are loop holes that can exploited.

 

Namely what-if exploits?

What if everyone had empath ability within ten feet of any other humanoid?

 

Answer? Make an alien race around that. They still act human sure, but with all the added baggage of FEELING how any other humanoid near them feels.

 

That would change baseline behavior on many levels, and would make a human trying to lie to one of them a challenge.

 

It would also mean they know if you fear them or even if you had a crush on them without you ever saying so.

With other empaths?

 

Let's just say they would practice social distancing evem without COVID-19.

Edited by Spacescifi
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On 4/19/2021 at 7:56 PM, Spacescifi said:

Often aliens are just placeholders for current or past human cultures anyway.

I am not saying it's wrong, just that whether one wants to use placeholder for a human culture ir not, hopefully they are aware that they could get by just as easily or even easier from a worldbuilding perspective by just using humans in the first place.

It’s my understanding that the Romulans from Star Trek were a stand in for communists. Scary and mysterious at first but not so different from humans.

They certainly could be replaced by humans and keep all their nonphysical traits however the show’s nuances and ability to talk about such heated and controversial topics would be in jeopardy. I don’t feel that the ability to simply replace an alien race with humans is a good measure for wether or not the alien race should be part of a fictional universe.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, munlander1 said:

It’s my understanding that the Romulans from Star Trek were a stand in for communists. Scary and mysterious at first but not so different from humans.

They certainly could be replaced by humans and keep all their nonphysical traits however the show’s nuances and ability to talk about such heated and controversial topics would be in jeopardy. I don’t feel that the ability to simply replace an alien race with humans is a good measure for wether or not the alien race should be part of a fictional universe.

 

I agree with you. 

 

No point in sinking your show from the start right?

However human behavior is remarkably versatile. So much I have found that I have virtually given up trying to modify scifi alien behavior to be more 'alien' since it never will truly be.

And we don't like....we humans don't like at length reading about non-human behavior we cannot relate to either.

Empathy matters since we are willing to care about anything we can emphathize with. A lack of empathy goes closer to separation to destruction of what a human cannot emphathize with.

Example? Do you think Hitler empathized with the Jews? Don't think so.

 

My conclusion? Apart from adding beast traits to modify 'alien' (human really) behavior, the only other viable trick I have is giving aliens powers/abilities we do not have.

 

So the 'alien' is essentially the answer to what if humans had this power or ability?

All of them?

Look no further. Alien race created. Empathy installed.

Edited by Spacescifi
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In addition to the mentioned purpose of "allowed prey to kill", weird aliens are required as clowns to let the viewers feel higher.

So, extrtaterrestrial races look exactly as the terrestrial market requires.

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On 4/21/2021 at 5:43 AM, Spacescifi said:

Namely what-if exploits?

"What if I can make it so that I wouldn't offend anyone ?" XD

But yeah. Will say that there's a good reason we use non-human parties in our stories... even if they end up representing a human trait.

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2 hours ago, YNM said:

"What if I can make it so that I wouldn't offend anyone ?" XD

But yeah. Will say that there's a good reason we use non-human parties in our stories... even if they end up representing a human trait.

 

Being an empath would mean emotional reactions would likely be muted,  given how much they can already feel. At least around each other.

Humans would some dramatic to them even while acting normal. To humans they would seem almost aloof.

I guess offending people will be less of a thing...unless they yell out from a distance and run. Or throw stuff from a distance.

Childish but that's one of their options LOL.

 

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40 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

Being an empath would mean emotional reactions would likely be muted,  given how much they can already feel. At least around each other.

Have you not seen some cultures around where they only use the slightest hints of being offended ? (correspondingly they can suddenly 'explode' as well)

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, YNM said:

Have you not seen some cultures around where they only use the slightest hints of being offended ? (correspondingly they can suddenly 'explode' as well)

 

Individuals yes...entire cultures? No.

They do exist no doubt, but my experience is limited.

That said, being an empath society would have consequences that are farther reaching than that. Here's a list that I can think of, and if I missed anything or get it wrong you may add upon it.

 

1. Feeling what other humanoids nearby you feel whether you want to or not means that you would get used to it. But also would mean you would rush past people with negative emotions...isolating them if you did not have or want to spend time with them.

2. No more or few secrets. No one can hide that something is eating away emotionally at them anymore. So people get help sooner than later.

3. Spaced apart confrontations. To prevent a fight, two angry persons must stand ten or more feet away from each other so as not to 'feed' off one and other's negative emotions. Alternately they may use a neutral mediator between them who is not upset.

4. Violence will likely be at a ranged distance often. Why? No one wants to feel the fear of their victims.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=04qBqCJlbC0

 

Edited by Spacescifi
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24 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

No more or few secrets. No one can hide that something is eating away emotionally at them anymore. So people get help sooner than later.

If anything, if you have a society that can read each other's mind and it not turn into a complete quagmire in mere seconds people would tend to 'fall in line' more often. That is until they're tired of it.

Social media is basically human invention that equals "telepathy". You can turn all your emotions into it but no one can't see what the heck actually went about.

Edited by YNM
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, YNM said:

If anything, if you have a society that can read each other's mind and it not turn into a complete quagmire in mere seconds people would tend to 'fall in line' more often. That is until they're tired of it.

 

What do you mean fall in line?

They won't read minds, just feel a ten foot radius of emotions of other humanoids.

Not animals.

 

I presume you mean people will try to get along until they get tired of it?

But feelings affecting the few will effect the majority...unless they practiced emotional isolation.

Want happy employees? Feeling  really upset? That's a sick day for you. Since we don't want a bunch of workers feeling upset do we?

 

Feeling a bit upset? Let's resolve at the beginning of the shift with whoever offended you in the 12 foot talk circle.

 

EDIT. Social moderators would likely have jobs. Being isolated but having a view of all and a speaker to speak to all.

Sounds like being an empath society is harder than being human. They could even adjust to human society if they get over how 'dramatic' humans are.

Edited by Spacescifi
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12 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

What do you mean fall in line?

They won't read minds, just feel a ten foot radius of emotions of other humanoids.

Say you wanted to enter a toilet in a public area. The toilet has a sign that shows it's the opposite gender's toilet.

People look at you, they can start to feel that something's wrong with your action, you immediately read it and hesitated and then came back out again.

 

Much like that, but imagine it to every single instance in your life.

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by YNM
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9 minutes ago, YNM said:

Say you wanted to enter a toilet in a public area. The toilet has a sign that shows it's the opposite gender's toilet.

People look at you, they can start to feel that something's wrong with your action, you immediately read it and hesitated and then came back out again.

 

Much like that, but imagine it to every single instance in your life.

  Hide contents

 

 

 

That is rough.

But not everyone would give in so easily. I would not, since my parent I am not close to has a lifetime of trying to pressure me into agreeing with him and it has failed more often than not.

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8 minutes ago, Spacescifi said:

But not everyone would give in so easily.

Well, you're an outcast now... XD

Anyway, yeah. Just saying since while I'm not from such a society, at least part of the society that I live in does that - except if they really find it so disagreeable they'd bite you from the back instead. It still doesn't mean that mean, 'insensitive' (as in doesn't even care even if they actually know it) people doesn't exist - they just blend in in a very different way than you think.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, YNM said:

Well, you're an outcast now... XD

Anyway, yeah. Just saying since while I'm not from such a society, at least part of the society that I live in does that - except if they really find it so disagreeable they'd bite you from the back instead. It still doesn't mean that mean, 'insensitive' (as in doesn't even care even if they actually know it) people doesn't exist - they just blend in in a very different way than you think.

 

Been there. Done that.

 

Other 'outcasts' tend to like like. So there's that.

 

Not to say I truly am a social outcast, yet as far as me and that parent?

Pretty much yeah.

 

EDIT: Thanks for your help. Will use.

Edited by Spacescifi
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7 hours ago, YNM said:

some cultures around where they only use the slightest hints of being offended ? (correspondingly they can suddenly 'explode' as well)

Spoiler

787e4fdefbd5387175d055c77eb16119df74669a

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-KjJhSSi0uzmgaGGbFWD

 

6 hours ago, YNM said:

if you have a society that can read each other's mind

Spoiler

detail_a48a59fa45b699d4e92f1707cd378435.

 

6 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

They won't read minds, just feel a ten foot radius of emotions of other humanoids.

Not animals.

Cats and dofs are closer to us that Klingons. Who of them is "animal"?

6 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

Social moderators would likely have jobs.

Why, when they are empaths by nature.

6 hours ago, YNM said:

it's the opposite gender's toilet.

Yes, two WC doors with captions: "Yours" and "Opposite".

6 hours ago, YNM said:

People look at you, they can start to feel that something's wrong with your action, you immediately read it and hesitated and then came back out again.

A real empath would feel emotional aura of those who are inside before getting in.

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19 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:
  Hide contents

787e4fdefbd5387175d055c77eb16119df74669a

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-KjJhSSi0uzmgaGGbFWD

 

  Hide contents

detail_a48a59fa45b699d4e92f1707cd378435.

 

Cats and dofs are closer to us that Klingons. Who of them is "animal"?

Why, when they are empaths by nature.

Yes, two WC doors with captions: "Yours" and "Opposite".

A real empath would feel emotional aura of those who are inside before getting in.

 

Maybe...depends on distance (ten ft aura).

 

And forget social moderators.

 

Give them natural insectoid shoulder mounted wings that can flash in pulses, letting others know from a distance tgat your emotions are negative so evade or pass by quickly if you must.

 

This is considered common courtesy.

Wings are not good for flying, but can still flap and pulse signal. Wing tips stop at the wrists for length.

In micro-g in orbit? You bet they can fly around!

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6 hours ago, kerbiloid said:
  Reveal hidden contents

787e4fdefbd5387175d055c77eb16119df74669a

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-KjJhSSi0uzmgaGGbFWD

A real empath would feel emotional aura of those who are inside before getting in.

Nah the military is way much more direct. If you weren't you wouldn't really win as much really (and if you wonder why certain parts of the world kept losing until they adopted western standards).

I mean, the toilet could be empty when they wanted to go in...

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