So I Saw This Meme the Other Day; or, How a Joke Becomes a Novel by C. V. Walter
I saw this cartoon the day it aired and it tickled my funny bone and my imagination in ways a lot of other things haven’t.
I tend to ask a lot of “what if” questions or answer funny ones when I’m trying to keep myself from doom scrolling through the internet.
I was wasting time on Pinterest a few years ago when I saw a screenshot of a tumblr thread about dinosaurs.
I always love the ones about dinosaurs. I either learn something or get awesome pictures of dinosaurs. There’s not really a situation in which I lose when I click on them.
So I clicked on this one about dinosaurs.
It asked, what if there were aliens and they’ve already been by the Earth but when they were here, there were a whole bunch of these big, scary lizards on the planet so they said “Nope!” and left.
With some of what we understand about the dinosaurs, they might have actually been looking at giant chickens and geese. Which, really, doesn’t make it any less scary if you’ve encountered these animals in real life.
What if they came by the Earth looking for something and thought “You know, that planet would be perfect if it wasn’t for those big, scary lizards.” So, they sent something to the planet to take care of the lizards and left to let things die out and then forgot about us.
And, what if it only looks like a meteor because we don’t know what a terraforming pod would actually look like?
What if they came back, expecting a perfectly terraformed planet to find…us.
How much would we have in common? If they created a planet that was ideal for them to live on, and we’re here, how compatible would we be?
What if they weren’t looking to conquer and destroy but fleeing a psychotic government that was bent on destroying its own people? They’re here, not as examples of peace and advanced technology, but as refugees?
What would we do? How would we handle it?
We have so many books and movies with aliens as the enemy or these beings who are so advanced, they no longer want anything but peace. What if they’re more like us than either of those other options could possibly be?
And there, flying through my subconscious, was the Forward Hope, running away from a crazy Emperor and smack into the Bradbury 12. The only casualty? A whole bunch of supplies and one Molly, a woman who left what most people would have considered a pampered existence to take a blue collar job on a space station.
I couldn’t take another alien invasion, humans are evil, repent because destruction is nigh book. So, I found a hero to pull Molly from the horror of dying in the cold vacuum of space and put her back together, in body and spirit. And, I’ll be honest, he started putting together some of the pieces of my heart that had been broken by the world gone mad that was the pandemic.
The Alien’s Accidental Bride was the story I needed; one of hope, healing, reconciliation and adventure.
The stories after the Accidental Bride explore the best place to hide an Alien, what happens when you suddenly have the chance to be cured of something that has shaped your entire life, the importance of family and networking and adapting cookie recipes to unusual ingredients in outer space.
Upcoming ones are the nature of rumors and the absolute destruction they can cause, fun upgrades to prosthetics, what happens when you outsource your white cells to something that can be re-programmed without your permission and how far dare we take genetic manipulation.
And all that’s happening before I even really get to the dragons.
Because, yes, sometimes when you’re exploring the parts of the maps that say “Here Be Dragons”, you actually find dragons.