Last week we gave you a quiz: What alien am I? This week we give you answers.
My people (a whole ship of them) are stranded on a distant planet (Earth) and we want to go home. We have membranous bodies that can’t survive long in the new planet’s atmosphere. We survive by finding hosts to inhabit. Over the millions of years we have been on this world our people have split into two factions. Now we’re at war, and using our human hosts to fight the war for us.
Unfortunately, my last host was betrayed by one of my people who went over to the enemy. I had to find a new host in a hurry.
Tao, from the Lives of Tao, by Wesley Chu. Tao is a Quasing, an alien race that can’t live outside of another body (on Earth, anyway). One might call them parasites, although the Quasing themselves might refer to themselves as symbionts.
We begin life as female, become male once our egg-laying years are over and change to something else again at the end of our life. I am currently male. I look like an otter crossed with a gecko, but I walk like a six-legged caterpillar.
Dr Chef, a Grum, from The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.
Chambers’ book has been described as Firefly crossed with Guardians of the Galaxy. This is probably not the time to confess that I only saw Firefly about six months ago, when Netflix came to Australia.
My race has prehensile toes so I don’t like boots.
I can hack into any military system. I am loyal to my staff/gunnery sergeant.
The alien in question, Ressk, one of the Krai from Tanya Huff’s Confederation of Valor series. I love Staff (later Gunny) Sergeant Torin Kerr. If I ever have to suggest military science fiction to someone who has never read it before, this is the series I recommend. It’s lighter than some, which makes it a good introduction to the sub-genre.
The one, the only, the late, great, Terry Pratchett. Specifically, the ScreeWee captain from Only You Can Save Mankind.
It’s a little dated now–anything with computers dates fast, and back in the nineties, when this book was written, computers were in their infancy. But the Johnny Maxwell books are some of my favourite Terry Pratchett books.
I got the description for this one out of the book, but if you look at the cover, our alien isn’t pink, and he doesn’t look like a crane (which is what I imagine an erector set is, because it’s not a word we use here in Australia).
Bult, the alien from Connie Willis’s Uncharted Territory. This is one of Willis’s lighter books. Think Crosstalk, or some of her novellas and short stories like All Seated on the Ground, or Inside Job.
So there’s the list. How many did you get?