Interstellar Aspirations

The head is fuzzy today because I didn’t sleep well last night.  Most of that seems due to strange dreams I had involving traveling, which is probably president as I have an upcoming trip.  Said fuzziness is making thought difficult, which means I almost didn’t start writing today’s post–


As a friend and I mentioned this morning, you can write, or you can talk about writing.  Of late I’ve been editing a novel, because my backlog is such that I need to get things out.  Here I am, then, getting things cleaned up when I find the time.

But there is other writing as well.  I do articles from time to time, and I was asked if I’d do something about aliens for a website.  I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a good alien builder, because in order to get it right, you gotta spend time getting everything right.  You gotta have a star, a world, an environment, and then see if your creature makes any sense.  It goes a little beyond the Star Wars/Star Trek ideal of, “Hey, it looks like a blue bug speaking Yiddish, which makes it an alien!”  Like anything else creative, it’s a lot of work.

I’ve sat on an idea for a month now, something I’ve wanted to turn into an article, but one thing or another has gotten in the way of developing those thoughts.  Maybe in the next few weeks I’ll find the time to write it all down and get it submitted, but for now I’ll work on other things–

Last night, however, I was on a Lensman kick.

The Lensman Series was one of the first great space operas, and though it might seem a little dated today–okay, it’s a lot dated–it’s still a great deal of fun.  A bit dry in many places, but when you read it you see the beginnings of what most people take for granted when it comes to titanic battles in space.  The Lensmen novels became famous for creating so many titanic weapons that the trope Lensmen Arms Race was created for those stories where owning a fortress the size of a small moon means you’re some kind of special loser, pal.

What I was really looking for was information on the aliens in the novels.  Because when E. E. Smith wrote these novels, it wasn’t just humans who wore the Lens that allowed them to do some pretty fantastic things, but there were a lot of aliens in on that Lens action as well.  And not one of them had an aversion to the color yellow . . .

It’s just that finding information on said aliens is a lot of work.  Because the Lensman series is “Golden Age Science Fiction,” the information available is limited, because it’s one of those relics of old school sci fi that aren’t read that much today.  So hunting down all the information I need to write an article is going to involve a lot of digging–

But I’ll get it done, because . . . aliens?