First Contact

I’ve finished reading Infinity Beach by Jack McDevitt. It deals with the question: are we alone in the universe? Without spoiling things too much for those who haven’t read the book, yet, it also extrapolates that first contact is fraught with misunderstandings, accidents and disasters. In short, don’t go into First Contact with Celestials (aliens in more picturesque terms) unprepared. Good PR, a linguist and “we should have brought a writer”, is what one player in the story quipped. A science fiction writer of course, fluent in speculative metaphors. We, writers, will have a job waiting to do at the first glimpse of a Celestial on the scanners.