tag: Extraterrestrials

A Present for Pat

Buy it on Amazon
First published in Startling Stories Jan 1954

Eric Blake, returning from a work trip to Ganymede, brings a minor Ganymedean deity back as a present for his wife Patricia. This ten-inch creature, when offered a bit of food, wakes up and explains he is actually from another dimension on the hunt for the evil Nar Dolk. Eric’s co-worker Matson from Terran Metals shows up at the house and offends the ornery god who then changes him into a toad. Patricia has a fit about that, and the god turns her to stone. 

Eric’s boss Bradshaw demands he come to work right away to report on his trip. Bradshaw isn’t happy that Eric let one of their best workers get turned into an amphibian, so he fires Eric but keeps the toad. Back at home, Eric, Patricia (benevolently no longer a statue) and the deity plot how to get Matson back when the police, along with Bradshaw, surround the house. Turns out it is illegal to transport non-Terran life to Earth. Eric makes a deal to change Matson back to a human if they call off the troops, which his boss accepts but then reneges on once the deity has converted Matson back. Just then the deity realizes (long after the reader) that Bradshaw is the evil Nar Dolk in disguise, and the two of them fight before disappearing to their own dimension. 

Cast of characters

  • Eric Blake – brings Tinokuknoi Arevulopapo to Earth from Ganymede
  • Tinokuknoi Arevulopapo – a Ganymedean deity
  • Patricia Blake – Eric’s wife
  • Thomas Matson – Eric’s co-worker
  • Horace Bradshaw – Eric’s boss
  • Jennings – works in the biology lab at Terran Metals

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

The Cosmic Poachers

Buy it on Amazon
First published in Imagination Jul 1953

In the Sirius system some humans unexpectedly encounter an alien Adharan cruiser. They assume these aliens are pirates, and they confiscate their cargo of jewels, anticipating the haul will be a hot commodity back on Earth. It’s too bad the jewels are actually alien eggs which will hatch nicely in the warm Terran climate.

Cast of characters

  • Captain Shure
  • Navigator Nelson
  • Communications Officer Barnes

Fair Game

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
Buy it on Amazon
First published in If Sep 1959

Professor Douglas is alarmed one night to see a giant eye watching him through the window of his house, but it vanishes before his wife notices it. The next day an enormous face appears in the sky, gazing down at him before fading away. The other professors at Bryant College decide these apparitions must be aliens who are after Douglas because he is the best nuclear physicist in the world. Then Douglas is drawn from his house by the illusion of a woman in distress, and he escapes in his car as lightning bolts strike around him. 

When he is eventually captured by the aliens and carried into the sky in a net he resigns himself to the fact that the aliens want him for his knowledge and ability. Instead, just before he is cast into a frying pan, he finds the aliens only want to eat him.

The reversal here is amusing, but nothing about the setup really works.

Cast of characters

  • Anthony Douglas – a nuclear physics professor at Bryant College
  • Laura Douglas – Anthony’s wife
  • Bill Henderson – head of the Biology department at Bryant College
  • Jean Henderson – Bill’s wife
  • Milton Erick – head of the Math department

Pay for the Printer

Second Variety and Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick
Buy it on Amazon
First published in Satellite Oct 1956

In this thinly veiled dig at 1950’s consumer capitalism, extraterrestrials called the Biltong settle on Earth after Earth’s nuclear war destroys much of civilization. These Biltong have the ability to create replicas of Earth items, and the human survivors use the aliens to rebuild their cities based around these ersatz goods. Soon the Biltongs begin to die from overwork. Anything they’ve copied starts to disintegrate, and so humans will have to relearn the lost art of building things with their own hands.

Cast of characters

  • Allen Fergusson – member of the Pittsburgh settlement
  • Charlotte, Ben Untermeyer – members of a settlement outside Pittsburgh
  • John Dawes – a survivor who has learned to craft a wooden cup

Oh, To Be a Blobel!

Buy it on Amazon
First published in Galaxy Feb 1964

George Munster fought for Earth during its war with the amoeba-like Blobels from Proxima. As a Blobel spy he assumed the form of the Blobels, and after the war’s end he still reverts to Blobel form half of every day making dating and socializing almost impossible.

His psychoanalyst connects him with Vivian Arrasmith, a female Blobel and former Terran spy who reverts to human form six hours of every day. They marry, but years later when they have difficulty in their relationship Vivian stabilizes as a human full time in order to save her marriage not knowing that Munster has stabilized full time as a Blobel in order to operate a business on Titan.

Cast of characters

  • George Munster – a human who turns into a Blobel
  • Dr. Jones – Munster’s robot psychoanalyst
  • Vivian Arrasmith – Munster’s wife. A Blobel who turns into a human
  • Pete Ruggles, Sherman Downs, Reinholt Glaubman – Munster’s fellow vets
  • Nina Glaubman – Munster’s mistress
  • Henry Ramarau – Munster’s attorney