Martians Come in Clouds

Buy it on Amazon
First published in Fantastic Universe Jun-Jul 1953

For the last several years blob-shaped aliens (nicknamed “buggies” for some reason) have been drifting down from the skies and landing in the trees and on the roofs of Earth. The humans react to these creatures by killing them even though they don’t seem to pose a threat, and after witnessing one of these encounters Ted Barnes warns his son Jimmy to steer clear of any buggies if he happens to see one. 

Of course the next day, while he is alone, Jimmy does spot a buggie in a tree. The buggie communicates telepathically to Jimmy that their planet has dried up, and all they want is to exist over Earth’s plentiful oceans. Jimmy heeds his father’s advice though and alerts some nearby men who burn the buggie to a crisp. Ted couldn’t be prouder, bragging about his son to anyone he sees after he hears the news.

A similar alien “threat” would show up again as the drifters a few years later in Dick’s novel The World Jones Made.

Cast of characters

  • Ted Barnes
  • Lena Barnes – Ted’s wife
  • Jimmy Barnes – Ted’s son
  • Mike Edwards, Ralf Drake – Jimmy’s friends