Forget about going to the movies to understand what a real alien might look like, as the Hollywood kind are generally just men in play-suits or a bit of computer-generated special effects. If you want to see something really “alien” go for a walk in a forest, down by a lake, or along the sea shore, and look at the astounding diversity of life here on Earth. Much of it defies the imagination of the best science fiction writers.
As a science fiction writer, I enjoy thinking conceptually about the various forms in which alien life may exist. It’s not a case of trying to come up with creatures that have an absurd number of arms or a something weird and implausible, like a star-whale, rather it’s an attempt to consider how life could evolve in different environs and to consider how we might interact with any alien intelligence.
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