A species can’t help but learn stuff in two hundred thousand years. But there are still some questions even my ET friends can’t answer.
I’ve become familiar with the ETs routine: tricking my AI into allowing them to dock (at 2 AM) and then having a nice chat over tea. I actually enjoy the company, and I’m learning a lot from them.
Since I’ve already established that they know a lot, I wanted to find out what they don’t know. I wanted to find out what keeps their species up at night, whether they still stare at the stars for…
And no, I’m not the dude paying $28 million for a ticket.
Since I made contact about a month ago, I’ve had all sorts of interesting conversations with my alien friends, the Florg. But now, they want to meet someone else.
I’m more than enough party for them, but there’s only so much a writer in space can say. As it happens, Jeff — we’ll get on first-name terms eventually — will be visiting very soon. I expect he’ll be surprised to find a guy in a yellow spacesuit and a half-dozen aliens up here!
“OMG! Mr Bezos! I’m such…
It happens once every three or so years. I wake up in my spaceship, and discover I’ve forgotten some essential skill, like how to brush my teeth, or how water tastes like. One time, I forgot what I looked like, and was astonished when I passed by a mirror a few weeks later.
Surprisingly, I enjoy it.
I’m sure it happens much more often than that. A key I placed somewhere, my email account password. The last name of a close friend. And it’s not really amnesia—just a very picky memory that doesn’t like the same stuff I do.
Other than Earth, Mars is the next best thing in our immediate neighborhood. We’ve landed more probes on it than any other body (except the Moon), and we’ve mapped most of its surface.
But look a little to the left of Earth on those cute solar system charts they have in kindergarten, and you’ll see a planet named Venus. It’s almost the same size as Earth, much closer to the Sun, and is the worst place to be in the Universe.
NASA recently announced plans for several missions to Venus, reminding the whole world that there are more than just…
Dear Homo sapiens,
It’s been a long time since we spoke—two hundred thousand years ago, to be exact. We’re sorry for not replying to your messages, radio broadcasts and communication attempts. We’re sure you’re confused right now, and scared, maybe even angry. But we’ll explain everything.
You are going through a rough patch right now. The future may look bleak. But the future looked bleak after World War II, and after the first ice age. The future always looks bleak, and yet you always come out on top. This time will be no different.
You’ve come so far from the…
Earth is an amazing planet. It has a huge oxygen-rich atmosphere, lots of water and organic compounds, and unique flora and fauna. It’s also full of seven billion sardines called Homo sapiens, packed nose-to-nose all over it.
My spaceship is not the biggest, baddest model out there, but it isn’t too cramped either. At least, until I invited my extraterrestrial friends over for a slumber party. Fun fact: each Florg is equivalent to 2.75 people, so you don’t want to share a bed with one!
That got me thinking—assuming mankind gets its act together and starts taking space exploration seriously…
Like the Universe that created us, every sentient creature has a beginning and an end. But what are we to do with the time in between?
Space is the perfect place for self-reflection. In the silent solitude of the vacuum, I examined my life from past to present, and I saw… nothing.
Nothing at all. No special purpose, no foreordained destiny. All I saw was the childhood and adolescence of a future writer who lives in space. And that pissed me off.
It happened yesterday.
Or rather, it has been happening for a very long time—maybe every day since I was born, really—another burnt-out transistor, another crack in the lens, another recursion error in the ocean of code. One too many which reduced the headset to a suddenly-noticeable piece of smouldering plastic that burnt my fingers as I pried it off.
I hadn’t used my eyes before. I hadn’t seen the real world before.
Earth is not real. Scratch that—the Earth we’re living in isn’t real. It’s a massively multiplayer online virtual reality role-playing game, running on the servers of our collective…
Humans are pretty lucky to have a planet like Mars so close by. But what will happen when we visit? How will we make the move? And how will the colony fare?
Here’s what my extraterrestrial friends think.
Life in orbit around Earth has its perks. One of them includes a splendid telescope view of the entire Solar System, including, of course, the Red Planet. So, every so often, I invite my cosmic houseguests to Mars-gaze with me.
Lately, Mankind has been paying a lot of attention—and a lot of money, too—to Mars. We’ve landed Perseverance and Zhurong, and we’ve…
Wednesday, 19th May will go down in (crypto) history as the day Bitcoin crashed. Most people are skeptical of crypto, but my E.T. friends think it’s just getting started.
Like any sensible spacefarer, I hold a modest quantity of Bitcoin—more like 20–30% of my net worth, really. So today was/is extremely scary and painful. I even called an emergency alien tea party.
I can’t help but feel that Elon betrayed me. And I feel a little silly; like, this is the reward for greed. Today, I cried (a bit), and may have embarrassed the entire human species.
But, unlike other…