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This week, Alida, Robert, & Matt discuss tales of first encounters, from the pilgrim to the UFO. These are ethnocentric stories addressing a primal human fear, asking friend or foe, and sometimes leading to understanding and cultural immersion instead of war. 




Why do first encounter stories fascinate us? What sort of problems are typical in first encounter fiction? How does it make us deal with our own humanity? And how can you use first encounters outside of its typical alien invasion genre?

Find Matt at

What we talked about:

First encounter stories are very human stories. (1:30)

The issue of communication in first encounter fiction. (4:20)

The question of friend or foe, and what is the fall out from either decision. (6:05)

How this kind of fiction makes us evaluate our own humanity and deep questions about who we are. (7:44)

How to handle being ethnocentric, and misunderstandings in your fiction. (10:45)

How to use the known versus the unknown to expand your conflicts. (22:20)


Things we mentioned:

E.T, The Extra-Terrestrial 
Alien by Alan Dean Foster
Nor Chrystal Tears by Alan Dean Foster
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton
The Thirteenth Warrior

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