In my novella The Joining, the aliens’ reproductive method is described in great detail. For comparison, the human biologist uses some parallel examples taken from Earth’s own animal kingdom. If you find reproductive biology interesting and want to get into some bizarre and downright alien reproduction right here in our own backyard, you need to check out Green Porno.
Isabella Rossellini writes, directs and stars in this webseries that explores a variety of reproductive methods from all over our crazy little planet. I discovered Green Porno soon after it began in 2008 and I have really enjoyed watching the series develop. I am fascinated by the reproductive biology of different species and through some of the examples brought up in this webseries I have found food for thought and sometimes inspiration in developing alien biology for stories.
Rossellini in “Limpet”
Green Porno is not your average nature documentary of David Attenborough narration spoken over gorgeous scenery, lush landscapes, and spectacularly filmed animals doing whatever it is those particular animals do. No: this is Isabella Rossellini dressed up as the animals and acting out the nature documentary. Sound funny? It’s supposed to be: though the information is accurate and educational, ultimately “the purpose of each film is to make people laugh, to entertain them.”
This will be the first post in a series exploring various first contact scenarios. As those who have read my novella, The Joining, might surmise, first contact is one of the aspects of science-fiction that I find most interesting and compelling. To me, one of the important aspects of first contact is that it challenges some part of the human experience and this is what I will be discussing here. I start with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s pilot episode “Emissary” for no reason other than I began rewatching the series a few weeks ago.
A quick recap and scene setting for those who may not be familiar with the series: ST:DS9 takes place on a space station the Federation has taken over from the Cardassians, the main enemy of Bajor, the planet nearest to DS9. Commander Sisko, our brave protagonist, has assumed command of DS9 to assist the Bajorians, now recovering from the Cardassian occupation. The challenges Sisko faces in assuming command of the station is the Bajorians, some of whom believe that the Federation’s help will turn into another form of exploitation, and the fact that he is troubled by the death of Jennifer, his wife. In a meeting with the spiritual leader of the Bajorians, Kai Opaka, she declares Sisko to be the Emissary of the Prophets and shows him the Orb of Prophecy and Change, a seemingly mystical object that allows him to relive a memory of the first time he met Jennifer. Kai Opaka explains that the Orbs have mysteriously appeared above Bajor and as the Emissary Sisko is destined to find where they come from, the Celestial Temple of the Prophets.