As we launch into this sixth book of the TWISTED TAILS anthology series, I am reminded of Michael Crichton's debut novel, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN. Why? Because his first and quite likely his best published novel gave us a look at the possible and horrendous result of the introduction into our happy little home of an unknown biological entity from out there somewhere. Before we go on, some clarification is needed here. Although he is best-known for revived dinosaurs, ANDROMEDA STRAIN was his first published book under his own name ([JOHN] MICHAEL CRICHTON). Published in 1969, Crichton was still in medical school and was in his early twenties. Amazing.
At the time that book was published there were few here on our safe little planet who gave such an occurrence much thought other than writers creating alien invasions from anywhere and everywhere. You know the kind, acid drooling critters whose spit could melt anything but themselves and were mindlessly bent on nothing more than destroying life in any form-particularly the human kind. Oh, and let's not forget giant bugs as in Heinlein's STARSHIP TROOPERS, a dull premise and not-so-great science fling, but a good bit of storytelling. Anyway, after reading Crichton's book, it struck me that the stuff from which we are made could well have been brought here from out there, that we are all aliens and we are not home grown...well, at least not necessarily.
The first known mention of such a possibility was made by a, wouldn't you know, 5th Century BCE Greek philosopher named Anaxagoras. Hmm, those guys get all the glory, don't they? Anyway, I was aware of most of the arguments against the concept, but it remained unproven one way or the other so I penned the following as a joke in 1971.
AN ODE TO PANSPERMIA
I'm an alien, you're an alien-we sprang from alien sources.
Homo Sapiens and the Simians-even Arabian horses.
I'm an alien, you're an alien-we came on alien transports.
So did the orca, the dolphin clan, and all their cetacean cohorts.
And now that we're here, we've nothing to fear but future visits from alien sources.
J. Richard Jacobs
It is thirty-plus years later and that it has turned out as something less than a joke is not much of a surprise, especially not after the heated debate that ALH84001 spawned. Scientists are still going at one another fang and claw over the issue and it may never end.
What we hope to do with TWISTED TAILS VI: The Alien Connection is to see things through alien eyes and give aliens their due as intelligent beings, instead of just being bloodsucking dumb thugs on a rampage through and between the gardens of blooming galaxies. We are going to make observations of humans through their eyes, of them through human eyes, and whatever other combinations are possible through the writers' grand eyes of wonder and imagination.
Please, enjoy your stay at The Alien Connection, a pleasant stopover between here and there. Then, again, maybe not so pleasant. You'll have to decide that for yourself.
1. THE HUMAN CONDITION by Margret Treiber
2. ALIEN OBLATION by Kim McDougall
3. ALWAH'S CHILDREN by J. Richard Jacobs
4. THE RECKONING - "ALIEN ROADKILL" by Steve Zuckerman
5. FAIR EXCHANGE by John Klawitter
6. FAST FOOD by Ann Dulhanty
7. FOLK TAIL by Kim McDougall (as told by Griffin)
8. CONTRAILS IN SILICON by Margret Treiber
9. JACALYN by Peter Prellwitz
10. COLONIZATION by Ann Dulhanty
11. THE GIFTS by Steve Zuckerman
12. RANTHID by Margaret Whitley