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Alien Invasion

Alien invasion or space invasion is a common feature in science fiction stories and film, in which extraterrestrial lifeforms invade the Earth to exterminate and supplant human life, enslave it, harvest people for food, steal the planet's resources, or destroy the planet altogether. It can be considered as a science-fiction subgenre of the invasion literature, expanded by H. G. Wells's seminal alien invasion novel The War of the Worlds.

alien invasion

In 1892, Robert Potter, an Australian clergyman, published The Germ Growers in London. It describes a covert invasion by aliens who take on the appearance of human beings and attempt to develop a virulent disease to assist in their plans for global conquest. It was not widely read, and consequently H. G. Wells' vastly more successful novel is generally credited as the seminal alien invasion story.[2]

In 1898, Wells published The War of the Worlds, depicting the invasion of Victorian England by Martians equipped with advanced weaponry. It is now seen as the seminal alien invasion story and Wells is credited with establishing several extraterrestrial themes which were later greatly expanded by science fiction writers in the 20th century, including first contact and war between planets and their differing species. However, there were stories of aliens and alien invasion prior to publication of The War of the Worlds.[2]

Wells had already proposed another outcome for the alien invasion story in The War of the Worlds. When the Narrator meets the artilleryman the second time, the artilleryman imagines a future where humanity, hiding underground in sewers and tunnels, conducts a guerrilla war, fighting against the Martians for generations to come, and eventually, after learning how to duplicate Martian weapon technology, destroys the invaders and takes back the Earth.[3]

Six weeks after publication of the novel, The Boston Post newspaper published another alien invasion story, an unauthorized sequel to The War of the Worlds, which turned the tables on the invaders. Edison's Conquest of Mars was written by Garrett P. Serviss, who described the famous inventor Thomas Edison leading a counterattack against the invaders on their home soil.[4] Though this is actually a sequel to Fighters from Mars, a revised and unauthorised reprint of War of the Worlds, they both were first printed in The Boston Post in 1898.[5]

The War of the Worlds was reprinted in the United States in 1927, a year after the Golden Age of Science Fiction was created by Hugo Gernsback in Amazing Stories. John W. Campbell, another key editor of the era, and periodic short story writer, published several alien invasion stories in the 1930s. Many well-known science fiction writers were to follow, including Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Clifford D. Simak, plus Robert A. Heinlein who wrote The Puppet Masters in 1951.[6]

This is a familiar variation on the alien invasion theme. In the infiltration scenario, the invaders will typically take human form and can move freely throughout human society, even to the point of taking control of command positions. The purpose of this may either be to take over the entire world through infiltration (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), or as advanced scouts meant to "soften up" Earth in preparation for a full-scale invasion by the aliens' conventional military (First Wave). This type of invasion represented common fears of the American public during the Cold War, particularly the fear of infiltration by communist agents.[7]

This theme has also been explored in fiction on the rare occasion. With this type of story, the invaders, in a kind of little grey/green man's burden, colonize the planet in an effort to spread their culture and "civilize" the indigenous "barbaric" inhabitants or secretly watch and aid earthlings saving them from themselves. The former theme shares many traits with hostile occupation fiction, but the invaders tend to view the occupied peoples as students or equals rather than subjects and slaves. The latter theme of secret watcher is a paternalistic/maternalistic theme. In this fiction, the aliens intervene in human affairs to prevent them from destroying themselves, such as Klaatu and Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still warning the leaders of Earth to abandon their warlike ways and join other space-faring civilizations else that they will destroy themselves or be destroyed by their interstellar union. Other examples of a beneficial alien invasion are Gene Roddenberry's movie The Questor Tapes (1974) and his Star Trek episode "Assignment: Earth" (1968); Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End,[8] the novel (later anime) series Crest of the Stars, the film Arrival (2016), and David Brin's Uplift Universe series of books.

A similar trope depicts humans in the role of the "alien" invaders, where humans are the ones invading or attacking extraterrestrial lifeforms. Examples include the short story Sentry (1954) (in which the "aliens" described are, at the end, explained to be humans), the video game Phantasy Star II (1989),[9] The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury, the Imperium of Man in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, Invaders from Earth by Robert Silverberg, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and the movies Battle for Terra (2007), Planet 51 (2009), Avatar (2009) and Mars Needs Moms (2011).

A skeptical but rational approach can help. It can be useful to think like a court room lawyer: Is that witness biased? What is motivating them? Is the Pentagon an objective player here? Is this a reveal of alien invaders, or a not so subtle form of lobbying for more federal dollars?

Julian Gollop, the creator of the original X-COM series, is at it again. His next game, Phoenix Point, is a strategy game following closely in the footsteps of the original X-COM, composed of real-time management and turn-based tactical battles as you fight a new menace on a world scale. Featuring mutating aliens! Procedural destructible maps! Factions! Geoscape! And more!

The matter of extra-terrestrial life has fascinated mankind for quite some time now, and the movie industry has made sure over the decades to make some serious profits thanks to the UFO craze. However, the subgenre has also evolved with time, giving birth to refreshing takes on alien invasion movies.

On the matter of aliens, you might want to check our extensive articles on the entire Alien and Predator movie franchises, and maybe meet some extra-terrestrial lifeforms (good and bad) yourself with the best space exploration games and space horror games.

Another Tom Cruise movie made it into our list, and with good reason: Edge of Tomorrow was one of the biggest surprises of 2014 thanks to a tight, action-packed script which masterfully mixed the alien invasion subgenre with time-travel shenanigans.

In 1961, astronomer Frank Drake created an equation to estimate the number of alien civilisations that are close enough for us to have heard from: N = RfpncflfifcL.4 The latest calculations, using a variation of the Drake Equation, suggests that the odds of us being the only intelligent life in the Milky Way are between 53 and 99.6 percent.5 There are too many unknowns to calculate anything more accurate.

So, in short, there might be intelligent life out there or we might be all alone. Some astrophysicists believe alien life of some kind could be right on our doorstep, while others are pretty categorical that the creation of life on our planet was a freak occurrence that could never be repeated elsewhere.

So, alien life would presumably need all the things we need to survive, such as energy, protection from predators and a way to move - but beyond that they could look startlingly different. Just consider the bizarre undersea creatures that move and eat and avoid being eaten but look NOTHING like us or anything else.

And if this alien civilisation has managed to build one Dyson sphere to serve their needs, they could be promoted to a type III Kardashev civilisation. Here, they start to grab the energy from neighbouring stars, then slowly build a network of Dysons that could eventually harness the energy of an entire galaxy.

Could this be a Dyson sphere in our neighbourhood? And, if it was harvesting the juice from that star, could our sun soon be in its sights? More space telescopes were pointed at the potential Dyson sphere to try to ascertain whether a highly advanced alien civilisation was at work nearby.

Himes represents Connecticut's 4th Congressional District and is the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. On Sunday, he appeared on NBC News's Meet the Press where he was asked to weigh in on the recent reports that two unidentified aerial objects were shot down over American and Canadian airspace. While the nature of these objects has not been officially confirmed, they have nonetheless sparked semi-serious concerns online about possible contact by aliens.

Speaking with host Chuck Todd, Himes downplayed social media worries that the two shootdowns were related to possible alien activity, or other potential issues, stressing the objects were spotted at altitudes that could endanger civilian aviation.

He continued: "The one thing, Chuck, that is troubling me here, I sort of see a pattern as I looked at social media this morning. All of a sudden, massive speculation about alien invasions and additional Chinese action or Russian action. In the absence of information, people's anxiety leads them into potentially destructive areas. So I do hope very soon the administration has a lot more information."

Sometimes, there are good aliens that help us against the invaders; unfortunately, they tend to be much weaker and/or less numerous, since if they were equally or more powerful, the focus would be taken off humanity. Then there's the Benevolent Alien Invasion, where the invaders are the good aliens. 041b061a72


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