"I apologize for disturbing you, Ensign"
August 29, 2020 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Eight tiny scifi/fantasy stories and what-if suggestions about aliens, monsters, etc. trying to understand humans, and vice versa. Including "I dunno, dude. This ‘light’ stuff sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo to me. I mean, how do we know it’s even real?" and "This is both relateable and aspirational in some fashion, for, alive humans SUCH AS OURSELVES… self-deprecating remark…"

lsunnyc requests and describes: "I want a sci-fi encounter where the alien species has nothing akin to 'sleep', and it’s baffling...."

Several writers collaborate on "scifi where sight [is] considered as exotic and numinous as telepathy by the protag species", including: 'don’t forget about completely arbitrary “”””atmospheric disturbances””” (fog, smoke–the new “ionic interference”) ALSO plottasatically rendering our abilities moot.'
Person 1: I dunno, dude. This ‘light’ stuff sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo to me. I mean, how do we know it’s even real?

Person 2: Seriously, how can something be a wave and a particle? That doesn’t even make sense.

Mysterious Human: Even if you cannot perceive the light, you can feel its warmth–

Person 1: Oh my god, please shut it with the mystical hoo-hah. You’re insufferable.
songofsunset, fireandwonder, and audiencecat describe the first time an alien has one of their human friends die (and doesn't get it), and the first time an alien has a human friend who is pregnant (and, similarly, doesn't get it).

snarp, amtep, and elodieunderglass write and comment on "Human recipe blog post, which is seasonal and appropriate, by me (alive person)".
It’s really good stuff, it’s got both common inexpensive ingredients and others that aren’t, because I am the sort of alive human, whose cultural context, makes that reasonable, to have those things. This is both relateable and aspirational in some fashion, for, alive humans SUCH AS OURSELVES… self-deprecating remark… you boil the stuff.
Azzandra asks: "Whenever I see a post on tumblr suggesting aliens don’t have gender, I always think–‘but what if also the reverse. What if aliens also have some fundamental social construct we don’t’.

Like, they come and meet us and they’re like ‘hey this is an awkward question but what’s your gooblebygark?’....

‘Look, your ridiculous human languages don’t seem to have the words for these! But they’re totally a thing, they’re like, fundamental aspects of social life for our species, just… just let us lick you so we can know what verb tense to use when we speak to you.’
In "Love Songs for Monsters: Gender", Tom "Defiler Wyrm" Sims posits: "Before they were in love, the young man asked, 'What is your gender, anyway?'"

prettyinpixiedust discusses, and bramblepatch annotates, a reason one dwarf would tell the others: “BTW guess what happened, we’re all just going to be men forever now as far as the tall ones are concerned”

And on a different note, but still on the "writers making stuff up together on Tumblr" theme: several writers collaborate on a universe where all Americans ceremonially get pet eagles:

Of course we had some of the traditional parts of the ceremony, the waving of the American flags while the guests chanted “USA USA USA”. But other than that it was a pretty relaxed eagle ceremony.
(Found via metaphortunate.)
posted by brainwane (9 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
I deleted my tumblr when they killed adult content and I have to say, this is the stuff I really miss about it. Really made my morning to read these stories.
posted by possibilityleft at 8:18 AM on August 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

oh my god the pet eagles tho. Amazing
posted by Wretch729 at 8:56 AM on August 29, 2020

For long-form, see also: Nicole Kimberling's delightful Happy Snak, in which there is a species that doesn't get many things about human life but most specifically does not understand why a person would have a snack.
posted by gusandrews at 9:50 AM on August 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

Stuff like this popping up on Tumblr is really about one of the two reasons why I still check out my feed more-or-less regularly. (The other is that my feed is populated with some great sources for digital art and photography.) Also, WRT some of the less-salubrious things that Tumblr has been known for in the past, I've recently stumbled across a vlogger named Sarah Z who seems to have spent a lot of time on the site; here's her take on the failure of DashCon (less lulzy than Internet Historian, although she does give them credit for some good info in between the lulz) and the Onceler-shipping fandom, something that I'd never heard of (the Onceler is the villain of The Lorax, and this refers specifically to the version in the 2012 film).
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:54 AM on August 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh my! I love all of these. More, I want more!
posted by Omnomnom at 10:09 AM on August 29, 2020

Well I guess we’re all going to call spaghetti “many-tentacle pasta soup” now.
posted by mhoye at 10:37 AM on August 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

tamora pierce!!!!! (sorry for the spoiler but tamora freakin pierce!!!)
posted by MiraK at 12:05 PM on August 29, 2020

Strong “they’re made of meat” vibe here, by which I mean thank you!
posted by q*ben at 7:51 PM on August 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

The LOST GLASSES in the light meta hahaha. Yeah, I always knew my sci-fi character would be the one who would disappoint everyone by losing my superpower at the worst possible moment.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:12 PM on September 2, 2020

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