Monday, October 20, 2014

"The Thing" I Wrote: “Somebody Meets UFO” Revisited

(I “pushed” the contrast/brightness quite a bit to show the horizon line and the yellow aura around the UFO.)

Here’s a revision of “The thing I Saw.”

Whereas the first version was told as a third-person narrative, this is an experiment in story-through-dialogue.

We have more attempts at names -- Jack Millcreace.  ??What??

However, our protagonists are no longer police, but a “Professor” whose assistant gets a phone call of a UFO sighting. Professor Millcreace swings by the Police Station to pick up Captain Scranton before heading over to investigate.

Added is a genre-savvy bit of business about the car’s motor dying in the presence of a saucer.  And little blue men comin’ out of it!

Note the creative choice to use the red part of the typewriter ribbon to show the aliens’ telepathic communications.  Instead of future inhabitants of Venus, this narrative brings aliens with a warning that Earth is about to be exploded by “a planet which you call Pluto!  Its inhabitants are greedy conquerors, eager to destroy all intelligent life on all planets and take them over to add to their Plutonious Empire!”

Don’t you think it kind of counterproductive to add to your empire by killing everybody?  I mean, what’s the fun of being the King if there’s no one around to notice?

 As with the original version, the doomsday weapon is an S-Bomb (standing for silicon).  This word might have been floating around in the cultural air as a swipe from the silicon-based form of life in Star Trek’s “Devil in the Dark” episode.

So, we have these aliens sent to convey a few lucky folks away in a Noah’s Ark concept, just before doom hits.

Then a real brain-bender:  The aliens are from a little planet called “Earth” -- cue weird Theremin music, followed by “The End” and seventeen question marks.

I can only quote my seventh-grade English teacher’s comment on this same device’s use in a different story:  “Avoid.”

Left unexplained (because not noticed by the author at the time) is how the alien ship is from Earth, when the story itself is set in “New Hampshire” (first line on first page)!  Another oops!

Note the authorial note for the ages.  Many years from now, literary scholars will want to know which version of this story came first.  Now they won’t have to guess!

Well, I appreciate your patience, kind reader, as we shared another Hallowe’en horror.  Only YOU can decide of the “horror” lies in the story’s tale of cosmic doom … or in its mere existence.

See you tomorrow with another Munsters image you can print and color!


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