[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
In the Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle novel Footfall, as it is clear that the aliens are coming, the U.S. Government whisks away a bunch of fantasy and SF writers to an undisclosed location to wargame and plot out strategies and ideas about what the aliens are like, what they want and how the Earth should deal with them.
I’ve always thought that was a brilliant conceit, and so my question for this week’s panelists is this:
Clearly we need to have China Miéville on the first contact team, because he has shown a knack for imagining strange and improbable monsters and aliens. If the aliens intend to graft us onto household machinery as fascistic punishment for expressing our innate political freedoms, China’s got us covered.
We need Harrison Ford, because the aliens will recognize that he will shoot first. (You hear me, George Lucas? Even aliens from another galaxy know that HAN SHOT FIRST.)
We need Christopher Priest, since his recent rants have demonstrated that he will be immune to any rectal probes that the aliens will attempt to deploy on us.
We need Tom Cruise, because he already knows all about the Emperor Xenu and his plans for intergalactic conquest. You can’t get anything past those Scientologists.
We need Joss Whedon, because aliens will need to be put at ease with snappy human dialogue.
We need Nick Sagan, because the aliens will have already heard his voice from the Voyager spacecraft.
We need Cory Doctorow, in case the aliens have come to impose their draconian copyright laws and restrictive DRM software on us.
We need Sigourney Weaver in one of those walking cargo loader things, because the aliens will clearly recognize that you do not fuck with Sigourney Weaver in a walking cargo loader thing.
We need Stan Lee. because he is Stan Lee.
We need Ursula le Guin, because in addition to being a brilliant SF/F novelist with an unparalleled imagination and empathy for the human condition, she is actually an android/wizard/vampire/ninja capable of firing laser beams from her eyeballs, shooting acid from her fingertips and decapitating aliens at thirty paces by throwing pencils, which are not actually pencils but special CIA-designed precision-guided exploding ninja stars.
And we need Newt Gingrich, because the aliens will instantly recognize him as one of their own. And hopefully they’ll want him back.