Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I had a dream... no, wait... it was a nightmare.

In my dream, Bobbi came home from work all bubbling with the inside scoop that there was going to be a big media announcement from the .gov that night, announcing first contact with intelligent aliens! There was an alien ship in orbit right now!

So the announcement was made, and the series of let-downs began.

Sure, there was a multi-species interstellar culture, but it really wasn't any more technologically advanced than our own (and less advanced in many ways), with the exception that they'd figured out how to pop a spaceship from Point A to Point B by putting enough electric power into their gizmotron. Other than that, the spaceships were not really any more advanced than a nuclear sub, right down to the fission power plants and archaic monochrome CRT monitors.

And the way they got organized enough to build the things was that most of the alien races had huge, planet-wide bureaucratic World Governments. Sure, you could travel to other star systems, but all you'd wind up finding was New Jersey with green skies, or Belgium with funny-looking trees, and the Space United Nations was everywhere. The whole universe was out there, and most of it was deadly dull and required going through the TSA to get to.

I woke up with the most awful sense of ennui that I have ever felt.

17 comments:

Noah D said...

Hey, it beats Childhood's End or Brin's Uplift Universe. At least these guys we could shoot at, effectively.

(Stealing this for an RPG setting, some year...)

Blackwing1 said...

Well, at least they weren't threatening to "rotate the Earth" (right out of the universe, not taking the sun with it).

The galactic dot-gov in Heinlein's "Have Spacesuit, Will Travel" always puzzled me.

Owen said...

man, i bet the rest of the universe has cracker barrels on on all the exits too..

Buzz said...

"man, i bet the rest of the universe has cracker barrels on on all the exits too.."

...and Starbucks at every intersection, Subway every other....

Bram said...

I thought you were going in the direction of Harry Turtledove's "The Road Not Taken" - until UN zombies disembarked.

Derek Simonds said...

I just read "Out of the Dark" by David Weber. Your dream and his aliens are not that dissimilar... It was a fun book with a decidedly odd plot twist at the end.

Anonymous said...

And the worst of it is YOU KNOW our fearless leaders who not hitch up their belts and say "I aim to misbehave."

They'd be all over this world gov thing, busily making the UN into it, and getting the aliens to help suppress the dissidents.

Robert said...

And they'd probably not have the RtKaBA.

Stretch said...

Hurumph! Just makes 'em easier to over run.

John Stephens said...

The Universe as a badly run Traveller campaign? The horror!

DirtCrashr said...

Now THAT is dystopian for sure.
I say we sneak on board and hijack their spaceship thing.

Jenny said...

At least those other species managed to grow up before they went out into space and polluted the universe with their horrible wars and barbarity. I for one think we *need* a few generations under a United Earth before heading out to stars, just to make sure we wont commit again the sins of the past.

We should learn from their wise example Tam.




*hrk*



;)

Atom Smasher said...

"The Universe as a badly run Traveller campaign? The horror!"

Now *that's* funny. A base system with so much promise and scope, and I get to... rob a bank? With a revolver??

I spiced mine up with some pew!pew!pew! and that's a fact.

Anonymous said...

Bram beat me to the "The Road Not Taken" reference.

However, your dream leaves open the possibility of the existence of space libertarians.

Mike James

mikee said...

Don't trust the aliens. What other story would keep all the "dangerous individualists" out of their neighborhoods better than the one they concocted.

Likely they all live on delightful earth-like planets with populations controlled by hive mother-brains, that one Ender-type kid with a Nintendo controller and a few drone attack ships could take out. They just don't want you trying it.

HTRN said...

"New Jersey with Green skies".

So you've been to Newark, eh?

Ian Argent said...

I got beat to the "Road not Taken". Pretty far down my list of fears is that the aliens from that landed, not in CA, but, rather, just outside of Petrograd, or Beijing, or, for extra frisson, Pyongyang.

(Probably wouldn't matter much if they landed outside of Teheran, I suppose)