Thursday, June 30, 2016

Friend or Foe: Science Fiction Debates the Alien Agenda by Claudine Kapel (guest post)

Friend or Foe: Science Fiction Debates the Alien Agenda
by Claudine Kapel

From ET to Independence Day, countless works of science fiction have envisioned how human encounters with aliens might unfold – for better or worse.

Science fiction engages the imagination because it contemplates what types of life might exist beyond our small blue planet, in the endless reaches of space.

As humans, we have a natural wonder about our place in the cosmos. We experience a sense of awe when we see images from our solar system or galaxy, such as those shared by NASA or captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

We gaze up at the night sky and we ponder: Is there other life out there?

Both scientific analysis and speculative fiction suggest that it is indeed highly likely that other types of life share this universe with us. Given the vastness of space, many see it as statistically unlikely that our own Earth would be the only life-sustaining planet in the cosmos.

But as much as we find the possibility of alien life intriguing, for some it can also be a cause for concern. After all, what if these aliens arrive and they aren’t very nice?

That possibility has long been rich fodder for science fiction. Some works, such as the long-running Stargate SG-1 television series, or the Men In Black films, portrayed aliens – or at least some of them – as having the potential to be friends and allies.

Other works, such as the Star Trek franchise or the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, suggested beings from other worlds also have the potential to be teachers and guides who can help illuminate the unknown territory of space for us.

But science fiction often has a darker tone. Consider the X-Files, which depicted encounters with aliens that were more sinister in nature, including the abduction of humans.

And then there are the works that explore the possibility of an alien invasion of Earth, although plucky humans often prevail, even against insurmountable odds. Films such as Independence Day or Battleship have centered on the ability of humans to rise to the challenge when faced with an alien threat, not to mention superior alien ships and weapons.

All in all, the imaginative potential for science fiction is as boundless as the reaches of space. Yet at the same time, what gives science fiction a sharper edge is the possibility that some of what is conveyed on the page or screen might reflect a deeper truth.

We may indeed be sharing the cosmos with others – and perhaps even many others.

And the evidence that we are not alone may be closer than we think. Consider, for example, the work of UFO research group, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) – which tracks reports from people around the world who say they have witnessed an unidentified flying object. MUFON compiles so many reports that it updates the listing on its website frequently, sometimes on a daily basis.

For now, though, we can only speculate on the alien agenda, deciding for ourselves whether they are likely to be friend or foe.

Yet until we have close encounters of our own, we can continue rely on science fiction to help us envision what may lie beyond the stars – and what our planet might be like if beings from other worlds came knocking.

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About the Author

Claudine Kapel is the Canadian author of the Ryan Cole adventure series, which features a team of investigators who contend with alien agendas on Earth. The series includes A Darker Rain, as well as the recently published A Chance of Light.

Claudine can be found online at claudinekapel.com.

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About the Book

A Chance of Light (A Ryan Cole Adventure, Book 2)
by Claudine Kapel 

Spaceships don’t just disappear...

When an alien spaceship vanishes after crashing in the Mojave Desert, Ryan Cole and his team are tasked with finding the craft and securing its cache of advanced technology.

The investigation proves perilous as others are also hunting for the ship, including arms dealer Antoine Drake and his alien allies.

When Cole agrees to help a woman from his past, it leads to a dangerous encounter with Drake and startling revelations about the alien presence on the planet. He finds himself in a race against time to uncover the location of the spaceship and the nature of its mission.

But discovering the secrets of beings from other worlds comes with a price. Because when humans and aliens collide, the truth can be deadly.

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