Tropes can be symbolic and helpful for our understanding of plot and characters. We can use them, bend them, or try to avoid them. In the science fiction trope: aliens are us, we find aliens who breathe the same air, aliens who are bipedal, and aliens who speak the same language.
Obviously, it’s a lot easier to write a story without the encumbrances of figuring out breathable atmospheres and language barriers. Showing movement is much easier when the aliens move similarly to the way we do. Even if aliens have different skin tones and/or a superpower, if that alien breathes the same, speaks the same language, and is bipedal, they might fall into this trope. Even if aliens have a naturally different shape than humans but they decide to take human shape to live among humans, they begin to fall into this trope.
Examples of Aliens R Us in films and shows: Mork from Ork, Starman, Superman, and many aliens we meet in Star Trek, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Captain Marvel, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Not every scifi story uses this trope. As we dig further into all that science fiction offers, we see more variety in alien life, notably in films like Arrival, E.T., Men in Black, and Edge of Tomorrow. Some aliens we meet in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes also break the mold.
What kind of alien life forms do you like in science fiction?
A spaceship in disguise,
An Earth girl searching for a sense of home,
And a Thousand Years’ War between alien races,
All collide on a summer afternoon.
An old movie theater welcomes Amaya in and wraps her up in the smell of popcorn and licorice. But one sunny afternoon during a matinee, the movie screen goes dark. The theater rumbles.
Amaya gets trapped in the middle of an ancient alien conflict. Angry and frightened, Amaya entangles herself in a life-changing cultural misunderstanding with Sol, a young alien who keeps omitting key information, even while they’re on the run from his enemies.
What will it take to survive a battle between alien races involved in an ancient war?
Liftoff is a fast-paced read for fans of Code 8, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Cobra Kai.
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About the Author
Tyrean Martinson is an author and teacher from Washington State. As a former fencer and kickboxer, she enjoys writing fight scenes in fast-paced novels and novellas. As a teacher and writing tutor, she loves to get students writing and reading comfortably by any means: talk-to-text, short writing assignments, short stories, novellas, and adventures. She wrote her latest novella, Liftoff, for herself during COVID, but realized it also fits a dream she’s had for a while: to create a short, fast-paced read for teen/YA readers who love popcorn movies, adventure, and sweet romance.
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