Public television this week featured a fascinating “docudrama” portraying and explaining what first contact with a civilization among the stars might turn out to be like. The scenes of the imaginary drama were intercut with good interviews with top scientists, many of them associated with the SETI Institute, where I am on the Board. The key explainer was the Institute’s co-founder, Dr. Jill Tarter, with moving contributions by our Drake Award winner and the key scientist behind NASA’s Kepler mission, Dr. Bill Borucki, and radio astronomer Dr. Michael Garrett, one of our Science Advisors.
You can watch the 84-minute show at: https://www.pbs.org/video/first-contact-an-alien-encounter-6o58nw/ For a program that is part science fiction, the scientific accuracy is quite admirable.
By coincidence, my latest science-fiction story, just published in Sci Phi Journal, is on the same subject. It’s in the unusual form of an auction prospectus, and deals with the topic of “lurkers” — alien spacecraft that might be found in one of the belts of smaller objects in our solar system. You can read the story free at: https://www.sciphijournal.org/index.php/2022/12/21/auction-prospectus/
I am tickled to report that this is my sixth published science-fiction story. You can read the others in the science fiction section of this website, if you enjoy astronomical fiction.
Happy new year to all my readers. May this be a year of less illness and tumult on Earth, and more wonderous discoveries in space.