Humans will pack bond with anything.
If you go to the Beneficient Overmind, or any other search engine of your choice, and type that in, you will quickly find your way to a whole slew of posts and stories across the web that people have written. What started as a simple writing prompt type thing where people wrote quick snippets to turn most sci-fi stories on their head or give a new perspective, has turned into a massive collection of ideas about our species.
I love some of the stuff that comes out of those prompts and ideas. The thought of aliens seeing our blue-green planet, which we consider so perfect and special and rare in the universe, and thinking this is a death world nothing could survive on tickles me every time. Our world is vicious and savage and challenging, but to us… that’s just home.
There are great stories about aliens encountering our wildlife for the first time, and there is something genuinely interesting and intriguing about recognizing the sheer majesty and wonder that is a crocodile by viewing it through the eyes of a naive alien who doesn’t know better.
One line from these ‘aliens beat humans, only to be slaughtered by nature’ posts that really sticks with me is one about an escaped human taking an alien she has bonded with along with her to find the human resistance. The alien implies there isn’t one, to which the human points out that so long as there are humans left alive, there is always a resistance.
Other stories talk about more grand natural forces and our insane attitude to them. Incredulity abounds that we built on the side of a volcano… and even after Vesuvius erupted and wiped out Pompeii and Herculaneum, we just went back and rebuilt. Just like we do after floods and earthquakes.
As for the polar regions, we sent as many teams as it took to find out about both, even after people died doing it, and we still have mad men investigating the regions by diving under the ice caps, because science.
An outside perspective on what we consider normal always makes for interesting storytelling to me, but perhaps my absolute favorites are the stories about humanity pack bonding with anything.
I mean, sure, we murder each other like there’s no tomorrow over the most stupid stuff, but we also cuddle small felines with razor claws in their feet while saying things like ‘look at his little squish-beans!’.
We took wolves into our homes and ended up with a species that’s probably too good for us, honestly. Dogs are the best.
We keep poisonous snakes and constrictors too, lizards we feed live bugs to, some people have pet piranha of all things. In zoos, we manage and look after lions and tiger and bears and crocodiles, and their keepers love them just as much as the smaller, safer animals.
And then there are the inanimate objects we bond with. Ever felt the sorrow of giving up an old car? It’s like losing a cherished pet. All those memories going away to the great scrap yard in the sky…
Stuffed toys, action figures from your youth, even favorite clothing. We bond with all of it. We cry in movies about robots when the machine dies, we sympathize with AI when appropriate, and we worry about robot rights in a future increasingly likely to contain the things. And we all do it.
Yesterday, upon learning the news that I had thrown out my old Eeyore hot water bottle cover, there were audible gasps of horror from a table of grown men. This, days after my husband got all sad upon discovering Eeyore in the trash can.
Never mind it was a piece of material, old and worn. Never mind it wouldn’t come up clean in the washing machine anymore. Never mind the velcro was no longer working and there were holes in it.
There was genuine affront that I threw away something that everyone knew had lots of memories for me and was in the shape of a childhood icon.
Ridiculous. And yes… it was very hard to throw Eeyore away. I miss that old bit of cloth.
I’m still writing because I think our species is ludicrous, weird, wonderful and special. Writing lets us explore all sorts of ideas, and talk to people who come after us about how we experienced the world, and what all of it means for us.
There are some great writers out there, sharing brilliant ideas and concepts, and it doesn’t take an entire novel to get people to think, or to laugh or cry.
Writing is the best thing. And we’re a very weird species. I hope people will always keep telling stories.