I'm feeling self-referential this morning, so I'm going back to a subject that's close to my gizzard.
People who know me and/or have visited Dandy Towers will appreciate that the first floor library is mainly comprised of Science Fiction books, a smattering of Horror, many, many 'Fo' dummies' books and an English to Dutch phrasebook. I like a getaway from reality to be a getaway and how much further can you getaway than to the thirteenth bifurcated throne-room of Emperor Fun'dun'kmant'ine the Socially Inept who happens to command a fleet of ten thousand gravity-powered, cloakable, Star-Killerons and is father to the shrew-gratingly beautiful F'nurk'ma'chewb'utfutnut, whose attributes are both talked about in and visible from, low orbit.
I'm not biased, I like everything from the high space opera stuff as described above to the 'It was Earth all along' shock twist in the tail, OMG I'm so original, genres. I've been reading this sort of stuff for the best part of forty years and I've read pretty much all the basic stories, and some of the not so basic ones, there can be some stuff you really have to think about, like;
Boy meets girl, girl turns out to be thousand year old alien and runs away. Girl meets other boy, boy dies bravely in intergalactic war, boy revived by enemy soldier. Spaceship turns out to be the killer, girl turns out to be the spaceship. Boy turns out to have imagined the whole thing, Both boys are the same person. Girl is one of the boys' Grandmother, but not the other's.
You see, with my training and experience, I understand all that - I mean, it helps that I wrote it, but still... You'd think I'd be immune to all the associated Sci-Fi tomfoolery. But the whole Alien Abduction stuff does tend to put the wind up me a bit - I can read about it, no problem - I've got many books full of accounts from people who claim they've been abducted, taken aboard your actual spaceship, by your actual aliens and either been viciously subjected to vicious experimentation or given a bit of a tour and had a lovely chat about the threat of impending thermonuclear war and dropped off with only an itchy sub-dermal implant to remember them by.
I think I might just be a bit gay about the idea of being being anally probed - Hang on, that might not be right, I mean I'm really not a fan of the whole idea.
You know how in the horror films, you've got the soon to be victim, running through the forest in the middle of the night, being pursued by (If it's a decent director) a half-glimpsed monster, when she comes across a rickety woodshed, forces her way inside and slams the door. She immediately feels safe, even though we've previously seen it tear a train apart using only its nipples and eyebrows. Well, you don't get that respite from alien abduction, most abductees are asleep when they're 'taken'. You might get a bright light and a wooooo-wooooo-wooooo noise if'n you're lucky, but that's about your lot until you wake up in a white room full of the little grey dudes with the big black eyes giving it the old 'This might sting a bit' routine as they plunder your nether-regions with a nuclear powered eggwhisk.
And that's the other thing... If you'd asked a bunch of kids in the '60's to draw you an alien, you'd have got a mix of wild and wonderful pictures from two-headed parrots to octopus footed centipedes and everything in between. Do that now and the chances are you'll mostly get the picture that most of you just thought of (OK, apart from you people who misread 'AN' alien as 'THE' Alien) - You know, the little dudes with the pear shaped heads, massive black eyes and no visible genitals, known by one and all as Apple Store Employees... Erm... I mean Greys.
It's something I've been thinking about for a while, is this image being drummed into us? Are we being made ready for a big 'reveal' by a conglomeration of Western Governments? So that when the curtain is pulled aside and it turns out that we've had Zarp and Plurb from Zeta Reticulii coaching the direction of mankind's development since the Roswell crash we all just go 'Ah, right you are then'?
I read recently that according to a recent study even young babies recognise pictures of Greys as being a 'thing' rather than just an abstract shape. This brings up another two questions;
1 - Why are they able to do that?
2 - Why would anyone be doing that research?
I think we should all be desperately worried - Either that there's an alien invasion going on by stealth - Or I'm as mad as a donkey wearing lederhosen on a tightrope.
Either way, no-one's sticking anything up my butt, without at least buying me dinner first.