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[Comments] (6) : My least favorite science fiction story type is "space aliens act friendly but in a shocking twist they're out to screw us over." You no longer see this much in published stories, but I encounter it with some frequency because I'm still catching up and because I often take a lucky dip (love that phrase) into the old stories published at Project Gutenberg.

I am moved to write by one story in particular "PRoblem", by Alan Nourse, which I read recently. It's truly aggravating because it starts out as a fun illustration of the many, many possibilities for human/space-alien conflict that don't involve hostility. I was thinking "This is really good for 1956!" And eventually I thought "Wait, they're resolving the really good conflict with a few pages to go, could it be that..." Oh no! In a shocking twist, the aliens were out to screw us over! So I got caught by the twist, but at what cost? I was caught because the story convinced me it was too good for a cheesy twist ending.

I guess since it's in the public domain now I could just write my own ending. That won't solve the general problem though.


Posted by Brendan at Wed Jan 16 2008 18:59

Yeah, that general problem seems pretty intractable. Wait, I know what could solve it! Aliens!

Posted by Leonard at Wed Jan 16 2008 19:02

They offered to rewrite our twist-ending stories to make them less cheesy... but then re-copyrighted the resulting derivative works!

Posted by Brendan at Wed Jan 16 2008 19:08


Posted by Brendan at Wed Jan 16 2008 19:09

Actually that's perfectly reasonable.

Posted by Adam at Thu Jan 17 2008 11:25

To Serve Humans

(silliest Twilight Zone ever...)

Posted by Adam at Thu Jan 17 2008 11:27

Oops...double-post: a result of my inability to see my original post after submission, and also because I left it anonymous. Delete the one of your choice. I promise to quit posting now.


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