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Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Mar-26, 07:33 PM
There have been some pretty good FX for alien species on sci-fi TV shows, and many alien races in movies and books

So what do you think was the best one ?

The Centauri in B5, Asgard from SG-1, the Narn, Queen and face-huggers in Aliens, Leviathans (Farscape), Ewoks, Vulcans, Martians from MarsAttacks, Kree, Babel fish, Kryptonians, Sandworms of Dune.....
there are too many in books/film
so this may jolt your memory
http://www.free-definition.com/List-of-aliens-in-fiction.html
http://www.4reference.net/encyclopedias/wikipedia/Aliens_in_fiction.html
http://www.infovoyager.com/info/al/Aliens_in_fiction.html

I think Babylon-5 had the best aliens, not because of the special FX or props but more because of the storyline, the acting ability of cast members and the very good sub-plots on each race

For drama and scare tactics I liked those RidleyScott / JamesCameron Alien(s) and those terror like creatures that we saw in the movies


My favourite non-human alien is perhaps those giant worms from Dune 8)

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-26, 07:57 PM
The Jart from Greg Bear's Eon series. You can't get weirder than that...

eburacum45
2005-Mar-26, 08:07 PM
The Jart was basically the 1960's reconstruction of Hallucigenia, scaled up.
Excellent, thoroughly alien civilisation, though.

Most of Bear's aliens are good. The living ecosystems of Lamarkia are very inventive too, as are the Brothers from Anvil of Stars.

Personally I can't quite see how Herbert's sandworms could move rapidly though sand, or be poisoned by water despite sequestering it in their larval form. Arrakis as Dune doesn't seem to work as a real ecosystem should.

Ilya
2005-Mar-26, 08:21 PM
Wan-To from World at the End of Time (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0345371976/qid=1111868388/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/102-1103845-6343304?v=glance&s=books&n=507846) by Frederick Pohl. Both weirdest and most terrifyingly powerful life-form you can imagine yet remain "hard SF". (Also non-carbon, and in fact non-chemistry, based.)

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-26, 11:01 PM
I kind of liked the moties in The Mote in God's Eye. They seemed to be well thought out.

Crazieman
2005-Mar-26, 11:07 PM
I would say Klingons.

And you can't say they're not well thought-out.

Charly
2005-Mar-26, 11:26 PM
I would say Klingons.

And you can't say they're not well thought-out.

Yes they are. They are awful. Typical Roddenbery rubbish.

Take a facet of mankind, and then make an entire race out of it. Not believable. How could a race of warlike barbarians achieve space travel, and a technology on par with The Federation Romulans and Cardassians.

Charly
2005-Mar-26, 11:30 PM
I like the Thing.

The only alien to give me real nightmares.

The ultimate biological weapon. Drop one of these on your enemy, and kiss goodbye to the planet.

John M. Dollan
2005-Mar-26, 11:34 PM
Not being a biologist I can't say how realistic or likely such a creature would be, but probably my favorite from literature would be the Grendels from Niven and Pournelle's "Legacy of Hereot" and "Children of Beowulf" books. In fact, the whole ecosystem, much more thoroughly described in the second book, was well done.

From TV and movies, I love the Predator. Probably not realistic, but I just love the design.

...John...

skwirlinator
2005-Mar-27, 12:19 AM
Not 'alien' so to speak but the creatures in 'Deep Rising' and 'The Relic' were very cool!

JonnyWishbone
2005-Mar-27, 12:30 AM
I've got a real soft spot for Stanley Weinbaum's Tweel in "A Martian Odyssey" and "Valley of Dreams." And the walking grass. And the Dream Beast. And the pyramid creature. And the shopping cart hive creatures. But Tweel most of all.

Cheers, Jon

JohnOwens
2005-Mar-27, 12:35 AM
http://www.free-definition.com/List-of-aliens-in-fiction.html
http://www.4reference.net/encyclopedias/wikipedia/Aliens_in_fiction.html
http://www.infovoyager.com/info/al/Aliens_in_fiction.html
Why not just link to the source those places get their material from? More up-to-date, and credit where credit is due.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aliens_in_fiction
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliens_in_fiction

Kebsis
2005-Mar-27, 02:23 AM
I like the Predator.

Bounced Check
2005-Mar-27, 03:25 AM
I find myself caught between two - the monster of the id from "Forbidden Planet" and Rush Limbaugh. Both invoke a sence of faceless terror that cannot be reasoned with, only avoided and buried deep within one's subconcious where it should never be thought of again.

Crazieman
2005-Mar-27, 03:48 AM
ha-ha

fun-ny

bounced check. Very fun-ny

Riotous

Andromeda321
2005-Mar-27, 03:56 AM
Can I just put a vote in for the bar scene in Star Wars and leave it at that? :wink:

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-27, 04:17 AM
Hmm... Interesting... When I first read the description of the preserved Jart, I thought, "Sounds like Hallucigenia."

(Can't believe I forgot about the ecoi... And I just finished reading Legacy. D'oh!)

The Moties were also pretty good. In fact, I think they're the only asymmetrical aliens I've ever read of.

Lovecraft's Yithians, IMO, were one of his few successes. Wait, what am I saying? They were probably his only real success. Interesting critters, at any rate.

Oh yes... Who forgot to mention Niven's Puppeteers?

Jason
2005-Mar-27, 04:34 AM
The Aliens in 2001. The only thing that appears in the movie is an example of their machinery - the monolith. The only thing we know with certainty about them is that they are interested in helping mankind to the next stage of its development.
If something truly alien by definition cannot be imagined by a human being, then this is probably as close as we get in a movie to something "unimaginable".

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-27, 04:54 AM
If you want to go for "unimaginable", how about the Overmind?

Crazieman
2005-Mar-27, 06:13 AM
Starcraft?

DreadCthulhu
2005-Mar-27, 06:18 AM
Lovecraft's Yithians, IMO, were one of his few successes. Wait, what am I saying? They were probably his only real success. Interesting critters, at any rate.


You will be eaten last When The Stars Are Right. :evil:
:lol:
And besides, you gotta like the Old Ones, and their creations, the Shoggoths. Pretty creative there.

cyswxman
2005-Mar-27, 08:46 AM
The Blob!!!

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-27, 10:12 AM
I also liked the Martians in Red Planet and Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein. They appear to be the same description in both books. They do have 3 legs but I am not sure if they are asymmetrical or not.

Louis Gossett Jr's reptilian character in Enemy Mine was well constructed, if anthropomorphic. I also think that the Ko'dan from The Last Starfighter had potential, but it was not expanded upon in the movie and I never read the book. Heinlein's arachnids in Starship Troopers (the book) were also interesting.

But my favorite alien is currently a stellar avatar called Trance Gemini (sigh). 8-[

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Mar-27, 12:17 PM
I would say Klingons.

And you can't say they're not well thought-out.

Yes they are. They are awful. Typical Roddenbery rubbish.

Take a facet of mankind, and then make an entire race out of it. Not believable. How could a race of warlike barbarians achieve space travel, and a technology on par with The Federation Romulans and Cardassians.

I'm not a fan of them Klingon in Star Trek, but I think there's a level of realism in it. I don't want to go to much into politics but take the Japanese around WW2, they killed many Dutch, murdered many Chinese, Koreans and killed many Americans. Dutch were not worried about Japan and the USA had written of the Japanese as a minor threat because they went around with swords, had a hierachy and fuedal way...and the USA was more worried about Hitler's power and getting dragged into a war against the German V2 rockets and the Hitler Germany U-boats around Europe. Japan was fuedal and never invented things but the Japanese made a good mimic of Western guns, and they had a German relationship & went to copy foreign aircraft designs....
..then bang ! A sneak attack on the Harbor and the American fleet almost totally destroyed, and after the Kamikaze....this is why there might be realism in Klingon if you look at the way things have moved on Earth sometimes





http://www.free-definition.com/List-of-aliens-in-fiction.html
http://www.4reference.net/encyclopedias/wikipedia/Aliens_in_fiction.html
http://www.infovoyager.com/info/al/Aliens_in_fiction.html
Why not just link to the source those places get their material from? More up-to-date, and credit where credit is due.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aliens_in_fiction
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aliens_in_fiction

Thanks for the real link
So what's your favourite alien ?

It seems a lot of people liked the horrific aliens in RidleyScott / JamesCameron Alien(s)

Doodler
2005-Mar-27, 01:22 PM
Actually most of the civilizations from TNG were NOT single faceted, but adapted governments from Earth.

The Klingons were adapted from Japanese dynastic warrior cultures.

The Cardassians were modern Chinese.

The Bajorans were Hindu, right down to the title Vedek.

The Romulans evolved into very good Soviet counterparts.

The Ferengi were pretty original, but they were Capitalists gone awry.

Federation aliens had the "single facet" flaw, but the "enemy" aliens were actually well developed adaptations. The strength of those adaptations of Earth governments into alien forms were what formed the foundation of Deep Space 9's excellent development in the last half of its run.

Lets just understand something here, I may despise B&B for what they did to Star Trek in the last two iterations of it, but the fact is, they used to be very good at this stuff. Gene hated the idea of DS9, but after he died, Berman pushed forward with it and put forward what I think is the best Trek to date. The problem with TNG, TOS, and Voyager aliens was the lack of connection to them. You see them for an episode, and then poof, they're gone, unless they're a recurring villain. There's no sense of progression. DS9 stabilized the environment, then was forced to put forward some alien development, and it worked great once they got the hang of it.

If they really want to save the series, I think the next iteration needs to draw on the strength they found in DS9. For once, we need to get to know the Federation as something other than a picture on a viewscreen.

ocasey3
2005-Mar-27, 01:42 PM
Thank you Doodler, I loved DS9, and I really miss watching it (no cable). A lot of people just didn't care for it though, I still don't fully understand why. Oh well. I loved the deeper insights into alien cultures that staying in one place affords. To the list of wonderful aliens DS9 has given us I would add the Dominion. Very cool.

DukePaul
2005-Mar-27, 02:15 PM
Rowley's the Vang no doubt has to be one of the most horrific aliens to confront. When I first read The Military Form it gave me the chills just to visualize how humans were converted and transformed into whatever the Vang needed.

papageno
2005-Mar-27, 02:35 PM
Lovecraft's Yithians, IMO, were one of his few successes. Wait, what am I saying? They were probably his only real success. Interesting critters, at any rate.

Where on Earth (OK, maybe not on Earth) did you get the name?
I thought he referred to them only as The Great Race.

Crazieman
2005-Mar-27, 03:42 PM
DS9 was by far my favorite too, ended up buying the DVDs.

Kebsis
2005-Mar-27, 05:55 PM
I also liked Roy from The Head.

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-27, 07:27 PM
Papageno: it was"the Great Race of Yith". Often shortened to "Yithians" on the web.

TroIt
2005-Mar-27, 07:52 PM
DS9 was also my favorite. I loved the huge story arcs and massive space battles.
One of the things that bothered me on Voyager is that there were aparently no consequences to their actions. Such as being in countless battles with other ships, but they did'nt seem to have any external damage in the next episode or show them struggling with making repairs.
I personally think that if there is another Star Trek (is there any doubt?) that it should be centered around Earth and focus on the Starfleet Command in a similar way that DS9 was written.

Charly
2005-Mar-27, 08:23 PM
Actually most of the civilizations from TNG were NOT single faceted, but adapted governments from Earth.

The Klingons were adapted from Japanese dynastic warrior cultures.

The Cardassians were modern Chinese.

The Bajorans were Hindu, right down to the title Vedek.

The Romulans evolved into very good Soviet counterparts.

The Ferengi were pretty original, but they were Capitalists gone awry.


The single facetedness was due in part to Roddenberry.

HE was ahead of his time for TOS, but really didnt have much of a clue for TNG. He was actively involved in the first two seasons, and it only became a decent series after he was shunted aside. He invented the Ferngi, Klingons and Romulans, but it took other people to develop them past the one dimensional ideas that they once were. The Klingons could only develop by making them complete contradictions, The Ferengi as comedy acts. Only the Romulans had scope to make them balanced and interesting.

B&B really didnt do an awful lot to improve Trek. DS9 was really not down to them, as they were focused more on Voyager, just when DS9 started to improve (coincidence?). It is clear where the talent in the Trek franchise was (BSG anyone)?

For the record, I think the biggest problem DS9 had was that it was Trek. That held it back. Only the success of B5 gave the writers courage to make the show more progressive.

AndrewGPaul
2005-Mar-28, 06:11 PM
Mind you, it was Ron Moore who turned the Klingons into the rabid space vikings whose grasp of battle tactics amounted to charging the enemy with an impractical sword.

Kaptain K
2005-Mar-28, 06:28 PM
also liked the Martians in Red Planet and Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein. They appear to be the same description in both books.
Well, yes ... and no!
They are very similar - being from closely related timelines in Heinlein's "Future Histories". IIRC, the Martians in Stranger in a Strange Land were from "Timeline 2". I don't remember the timeline of The Martian Way" or if he even assigned it one.

Kaptain K
2005-Mar-28, 06:32 PM
How could a race of warlike barbarians achieve space travel, and a technology on par with The Federation Romulans and Cardassians.
Well, Larry Niven's Kzinti stole it!

papageno
2005-Mar-28, 06:32 PM
Papageno: it was"the Great Race of Yith". Often shortened to "Yithians" on the web.

Aha.
:-k
Maybe it is time to re-read the book.

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-28, 08:43 PM
Short story, actually.

SkepticJ
2005-Mar-28, 08:47 PM
Bad movie, but I like the "spiders" from Lost in Space.

NoXion
2005-Mar-28, 10:48 PM
I personally have a fondness for aliens that rate high on the sheer pant-wetting terror scale. Those nasty blue-black Xenomorphs from the Alien series of movies, while scary and cool, didn't give me nightmares like The Thing did. I also rather like the Flood from Halo, the name implies that they are are an unstoppable, suffocating force.

I also dig intelligent non-humanoid aliens, apart from energy beings and god-like AI, which are rubbish.

Crazieman
2005-Mar-29, 01:25 AM
Oh!

Can't believe nobody suggested Borg.

=]

Ilya
2005-Mar-29, 03:29 AM
I personally have a fondness for aliens that rate high on the sheer pant-wetting terror scale. Those nasty blue-black Xenomorphs from the Alien series of movies, while scary and cool, didn't give me nightmares like The Thing did. I also rather like the Flood from Halo, the name implies that they are are an unstoppable, suffocating force.


I think you'd love Primes from Peter Hamilton's "Pandora's Star".

Enzp
2005-Mar-29, 04:41 AM
I can't stand the Ferengi, I think they are about the most ludicrous characters ever written for a sci fi series.

Klingons as some sort of Vikings is OK as metaphor, but they never made a lot of sense to me. Here is a whole world with a galactic empire, and it always boils down to two of them with a couple space ships and they rule the whole thing. I mean, could one guy with an aircraft carrier park of the new Jersey coast and rule the world? The Klingons always seems so small and provincial. Yet off they go, a handfull of them in their ships and they plan to take over.

I am one of the folks who does not care for DS9. In my humble view it is talky and soap opera like. Then later they introduced the little attack ship with guns blasting from every inch of it so they had something to fly around in and make blow-up. When I first saw that ship, I instantly thought arcade game - it looked like something from Galaga after you get the extra guns.

novaderrik
2005-Mar-29, 10:00 AM
what about Q?
yeah- i know- it is probably the easiest alien creature ever invented- but an entire dimension full of omniscient beings with the powers of Gods is a really neat idea.

Cugel
2005-Mar-29, 11:44 AM
1. Dirdir
2. Pnume
3. Wankh
4. Chasch

NoXion
2005-Mar-29, 02:43 PM
I personally have a fondness for aliens that rate high on the sheer pant-wetting terror scale. Those nasty blue-black Xenomorphs from the Alien series of movies, while scary and cool, didn't give me nightmares like The Thing did. I also rather like the Flood from Halo, the name implies that they are are an unstoppable, suffocating force.


I think you'd love Primes from Peter Hamilton's "Pandora's Star".

I can't seem to find a description of them anywhere, what are they like?

Ilya
2005-Mar-29, 03:28 PM
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!



















Primes are hive mentalities, with two castes -- Motiles and Immotiles. Motiles are much like worker ants or termites, Immotiles are little more than a brain and reproductive organ. An Immotile sends instructions to its Motiles and receives sensory input via direct neural connection, which requires physical contact; later in their technological develoopment both are done remotely. Here is the nasty part -- an Immotile can add brains at will. To make a new Immotile brain, four Motiles join together and merge. Their limbs, muscles, digestive organs, etc. are absorbed and converted into brain tissue. It can be a "birth" of a new Prime "individual", but an existing Immotile can convert four Motiles into a new brain for itself and add it to the network at any time. Thus a Prime can have hundreds or thousands of Immotile brains linked together as a single consciousnes and work on hundreds of problems and projects simultaneously, with millions of Motiles serving as its "hands". The more intractable a problem, the more brains are allocated to it. Primes are ultimate individualists -- any cooperation between two or more is strictly a matter of calculation, and ends the moment it ceases to be advantageous. In the end, only one Prime can remain -- a single consciousness permeating an entire solar system; and ultimately, with FTL communications, the entire galaxy. All lesser species, whether mushrooms or humans, are just resources.

NoXion
2005-Mar-29, 03:41 PM
That sounds scary.... and vaguely disgusting too... 8-[ I like it! =D>

John Dlugosz
2005-Mar-29, 08:26 PM
I like "Alien" and related technology as designed by Geiger for the movie. I didn't like the movie, but I think the originality of making things un-like humans in costumes yet still hit on our unconcious monster archetypes is brilliant.

Nobody mentioned the alien ecosystem in David Gerrold's series. First book is "A Matter for Men".

I also enjoyed the blobs in Robert L. Forward's "Flight of the Dragonfly"/"Rochworld".

--John

Ilya
2005-Mar-29, 08:59 PM
Nobody mentioned the alien ecosystem in David Gerrold's series. First book is "A Matter for Men".
Well, Chtorr is not exactly a race -- it's an ecosystem, but yes, it is probably best thought-out alien ecosystem anyone ever came up with. I just wish Gerrold would hurry with the next book!



I also enjoyed the blobs in Robert L. Forward's "Flight of the Dragonfly"/"Rochworld".


I did not. The book was written at sixth-grade level (and seemed intended for that market), and I did not find the aliens terribly interesting. Intelligent ten-ton amoebas. Big deal.

AGN Fuel
2005-Mar-29, 11:41 PM
Alf.




(....plus another vote for Ridley Scott's Alien - scared the bejeebers out of me when I saw it at the movies.)

voyager_3
2005-Mar-30, 10:57 AM
The Krell from Forbidden Planet have always got my imagination going, mainly because of the fact that they "left no record of their appearance except perhaps in the shape of this distinctive arch." That left you wondering what they must have looked like, presumeably a large cone shaped blob perhaps.

Maybe as they had directed their entire racial energy towards the creation of the big machine that they didn't have time for a self portrait! :D

Jules
2005-Mar-30, 12:22 PM
And yet another vote for the alien's from Alien....
it's been almost 20 yrs since I first saw it on video , and I still can't watch it at night :o

papageno
2005-Mar-30, 12:48 PM
Short story, actually.
Well, not so short.
And I have it in a booklet. :)

TriangleMan
2005-Mar-30, 12:50 PM
Another vote for Lovecraftian horrors but for Azathoth instead of the Great Race. (I also like the Hounds of Tindalos).

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-30, 10:24 PM
Azathoth? Meh...

AndrewGPaul
2005-Mar-30, 11:24 PM
The Hooloovoo, from HHGttG. Wonder if it's in the movie :)

The Alien from Alien is good, as long as you never see it in its entirety. Then it looks goofy.

Chuck
2005-Mar-30, 11:40 PM
Uncle Martin (http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/ShowMainServlet/showid-152/My_Favorite_Martian/)?

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-30, 11:42 PM
I just saw Dreamcatcher again and I think the aliens in that movie were pretty interesting.

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-31, 12:14 AM
Ah yes... "Weasels" I believe they were called? Rather like evil, intelligent roundworms in their habits, though large and with very advanced nervous systems IIRC...

Messenger
2005-Mar-31, 05:15 AM
I wasn't a fan of Voyager initially, but it grew on me; it's now my favourite Trek. I love Star Trek, but can't watch DS9. The only interesting character was Odo.

That said, yes, the alien in The Thing is hands-down the scariest "thing" I've ever seen in a movie, and the Flood from Halo are much the same; basically a mobile cancer chasing you around. Charming. I didn't know anything about the game when I started playing it, and when I got to that level -- :o I freaked out. Loved it.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-31, 05:15 AM
Ah yes... "Weasels" I believe they were called? Rather like evil, intelligent roundworms in their habits, though large and with very advanced nervous systems IIRC......and with big sideways mouths with big teeth. The thing I didn't quite follow was the "Ripley" red dust infection.

Nergal
2005-Mar-31, 01:28 PM
The Kzinti of Niven's universe. How can you not love giant, space-faring, war-mongering tabby cats.

Honorable mention to the Grendel from Niven's Legacy of Herot.

Charly
2005-Mar-31, 05:21 PM
I just saw Dreamcatcher again and I think the aliens in that movie were pretty interesting.


WTF??????

You have watched it twice?????

Rich
2005-Mar-31, 05:41 PM
I just saw Dreamcatcher again and I think the aliens in that movie were pretty interesting.


WTF??????

You have watched it twice?????

LOL. I was thinking the same thing. The basic premise was good, but it would have been better without all of the psychic junk thrown in to muddy the waters.

I'll throw another couple of votes in for Niven's creations. The moties, grendels, and Peirson's Puppeteers were so well fleshed out. I especially like the much more sentient moties and Puppeteers with their well developed alien psychologies. Everything they do is explained by their aliens psychologies, and in the moties case their biology and limited resources define how such a psychology came to exist. Great aliens.

As for scary, the original "Alien" and "Aliens" earn marks as the only movies every to give me nightmares. "Alien" was so creepy and atmospheric when I first saw it, it just scare the bejeebus out of me. No movie, even other horror films has ever succeeded in really scaring me (besides Blair Witch... but no aliens there).

Charly
2005-Mar-31, 06:07 PM
No movie, even other horror films has ever succeeded in really scaring me (besides Blair Witch... but no aliens there).

Watch The Thing, on your own (or with your dog), in the dark.

Rich
2005-Mar-31, 06:30 PM
No movie, even other horror films has ever succeeded in really scaring me (besides Blair Witch... but no aliens there).

Watch The Thing, on your own (or with your dog), in the dark.

I've seen it a few times. I makes my skin crawl and makes me jump... but once it's over I'm like... "Eh... so that was scary... hmmm, I want some icecream." No nightmares though.

That's not to say that others couldn't find it more scary... just for me "Alien" really did it, and later "Aliens" succeeded at freaking me out pretty good again. As for "Blair Witch"... no nightmares, but boy did that movie creep me out. A family member had one of those stuffed kid things... the ones that look kind of like lifesize muppets, but made out of leg-hosery and stuffed with cotton. Anyway, she had that sucker propped up in a corner in a pose just like from the end of the movie. To her it was kind of a cute hide-and-seek pose. It freaked my wife and I right out (just a few months after we saw "Blair Witch"). That's when I knew it was a good scary movie (to me), it impacted me after it was over.

Sorry to wander a little OT there. Still no aliens in Blair Witch last I checked.

Nowadays I watch "Alien" and "Aliens" and they don't still really scare me (due to repeated viewings), but I love to watch them as an intellectual experience. It's great to pull them apart, analyze the cinematography, sound effects, lighting, etc. and see how they were put together so artfully to produce a truly, viscerally unnerving movie experience.

Jpax2003
2005-Mar-31, 07:59 PM
I just saw Dreamcatcher again and I think the aliens in that movie were pretty interesting.


WTF??????

You have watched it twice?????LOL, I just wanted to get a closer look at the aliens when they got toasted.

Paul Beardsley
2005-Mar-31, 10:24 PM
Personal favourites:
Tweel from the Stanley Weinbaum stories.
The Puppeteers from the Larry Niven stories.
Wang's Carpets from Greg Egan's story of that name - which formed part of the brilliant Diaspora.
Solaris from the Lem novel.

Film and TV aliens don't do much for me. Alien was quite a scary, suspenseful film, but the actual alien - it runs fast, it's hard to kill and it does nasty things to people - is hardly interesting. Yes, it looks good when seen in glimpses and shadow, but I like my aliens to be at least a little bit thought-provoking. I also get a bit irked when films hijack terms. Alien should be a term for any life form from space, not just ones that look as if they were designed by H.R. Giger. Likewise, the term ET should not have lasting connotations of a twee puppet with a glowing finger.

Kosh the Vorlon in Bab5 was quite interesting. His totally different outlook came across reasonably well, and there was a sense that you only got to see a fraction of what was there - much was hidden.

And who can forget the Dalek? I hope we get to see the creature inside in the forthcoming Doctor Who episodes featuring the beasties - and I hope it's better realised than in past episodes!

Messenger
2005-Apr-01, 05:36 AM
Paul Beardsley wrote:


Solaris from the Lem novel.

Sorry, I should really go check, but is this the same as Solaris from the movie(s)? What did you find frightening about it?

I've watched Solaris several times; the remake was very different from the original, which I've only seen once. Didn't know there was a book...or am I confused? [/quote]

Kebsis
2005-Apr-01, 05:50 AM
The pale, floating dudes from Dark City were cool.

Paul Beardsley
2005-Apr-01, 08:32 AM
Paul Beardsley wrote:


Solaris from the Lem novel.

Sorry, I should really go check, but is this the same as Solaris from the movie(s)?
Yes, although the "character" of the planet is only partially captured in the first film (the Tarkovsky version). As for the second film - forget it!


What did you find frightening about it?
Huh? The thread title asks for the greatest alien, not necessarily the most frightening. Few if any of my suggestions are especially frightening. There are scary aspects; as one commentator put it (Alex Cox?) the Solaris investigators find they are haunted by themselves.

What makes Solaris great: it is unique - a sentient planet-covering ocean; it is utterly alien, so much so that we're not absolutely sure if it really is sentient or if its apparent "cooperation" with the contact team is just a reflex reaction; it's possible to imagine that such a planet really exists out there in the galaxy.

I also like the way it turns around a cliche: the malevolent aliens who impersonate our loved ones in order to infiltrate us. When Solaris produces copies of (among others) the hero's late wife, she genuinely believes she is his wife - and she's devastated when she learns that she is just a copy.


I've watched Solaris several times; the remake was very different from the original, which I've only seen once.
Nobody watches the remake more than once. :D When my wife and I went to see it in the cinema, I counted 13 people walking out!


Didn't know there was a book...or am I confused?
The book is by Stanislaw Lem. It's not a hugely enjoyable read, but I gather that the translation from the Polish is not that good. A lot of the subtleties and humour failed to make it through. But it is worth a read for the ideas - and in your own mind, you could probably make a better movie adaptation than the second film, if not the first!

captain swoop
2005-Apr-01, 09:50 AM
Daleks.

Hutch
2005-Apr-01, 04:26 PM
I will admit a fondness for the Mesklinites of Hal Clement's "Mission of Gravity", although I will admit as characters they were very human-acting. But the adaptation of intelligent life to a planet with 700G at it's surface was and reminas fascinating.

weatherc
2005-Apr-01, 05:58 PM
Film and TV aliens don't do much for me. Alien was quite a scary, suspenseful film, but the actual alien - it runs fast, it's hard to kill and it does nasty things to people - is hardly interesting. Yes, it looks good when seen in glimpses and shadow, but I like my aliens to be at least a little bit thought-provoking. I also get a bit irked when films hijack terms. Alien should be a term for any life form from space, not just ones that look as if they were designed by H.R. Giger. Likewise, the term ET should not have lasting connotations of a twee puppet with a glowing finger.

I think the beastie from Alien was quite interesting, because of the questions that it brings up, if only indirectly. For example: were the creatures bioengineered or the result of evolution? If the former, by whom, and for what purpose? If the latter, that would be one scary planet that they are from. Also, if they were the result of evolution, are they at the top of their food chain, or not? I think these are very interesting things to ponder while the alien is killing people left and right.

lti
2005-Apr-02, 01:36 AM
Optimus Prime!

No alien beats him.

Messenger
2005-Apr-02, 03:27 AM
Paul Beardsley wrote:


Huh? The thread title asks for the greatest alien, not necessarily the most frightening

I think I was reading the villain thread and carried it over to this one; I have to stop waiting til after midnight to go online. And, in that case, I agree with you; Solaris is fantastic. I have watched the remake several times; first of all, because the soundtrack is amazing, and secondly, because I only had a rental copy of the first movie, so I use the remake to let me think about those themes again...but I do find them very different. I like the way the movie makes us think about the nature of individuality; how everyone violently rejects their "visitors" except for Kelvin, because the idea that anything could completely reproduce someone to the point that they themselves wouldn't know it is so horrifying. I know that the sequel has been heavily criticized, but I admire anyone who attempts to raise the level of American science fiction; failure or not, at least it's a thoughtful failure.

As far as the movie Alien goes, the whole thing falls apart for me on a very basic level: In the first movie, she is a nearly naked woman being chased around by what turns out to be (in the final scenes on the escape pod) a giant part of the male anatomy. This is laughably obvious in the scene where the steam blasts wake it up and dislodge it. So. Pretty clear what the "message" is here: Woman brave and good, male bad and evil.

Film two brings us a reversal: In this one, the woman is empowered through the Michael Biehn character lending her his "gun," and she is chased around by a female alien, right down to the resemblance of the head of the alien to the pelvic structure of the female skeleton. I'm sorry. I just can't buy into anything so obvious. To me, the movies are so devoted to gender politics, there's not alot left over for science, fictional or otherwise, and the aliens suffer as a result.

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-02, 03:43 AM
WTF? The alien doesn't look remotely phalic in the first movie... :roll: You're reading too much into it.

Messenger
2005-Apr-02, 04:59 AM
lol Oh, honey, no, it does. Trust me. Watch the movie to the end, and then check it out as it emerges from it's sleep in the escape pod. I don't know, maybe you've got to be a woman.

NoXion
2005-Apr-02, 05:18 AM
I find the phallicity (Is that even a word?) of the Xenomorphs to be very slight indeed. IMO there's only a passing resemblance. If the Xenomorph is to be considered phallic then so should skyscrapers, firearms, and anything else that is remotely analagous to a phallus :roll:

It's all rather silly in my opinion.

Messenger
2005-Apr-02, 06:10 AM
Well, I'm in good company in thinking this. Although reviewing movies from a feminist perspective is very suspect, in the years after the movie came out there was alot of focus on it's feminism. The second movie was contemporary with alot of feminist discussion, notably from Susan Faludi, with her book Backlash (1991), and Naomi Wolf, with The Beauty Myth (1990). Alot of people were disappointed in the second movie, because it seemed to set Ripley against the feminine (Faludi, in Backlash). I thought the whole thing was kind of ridiculous; "cat fight in space." :roll:

However, indisputably, what we are left with in the first movie is a creature that, for whatever reason, was made to look like something quite familiar to women, that could also be a source of terror and violence. And that is all I'm going to say about this... :wink:

http://www.hrgiger.com/alien.htm

novaderrik
2005-Apr-02, 06:29 AM
skyscrapers are phallic in nature- everytime someone builds a big one, some other country has to make a bigger one to show how much better they are.
makes you wonder how insecure the people who want to build a space elevator must be.. (except for you fine folks around here, that is. y'all would never fall into that trap)
and the Alien creatures must have represented the evil power us men attmept to hold over women- they get inside you then cause a screaming, shrieking beast to come out of your belly, thus ending all your hopes and dreams for the future.
what's more phallic than that?

Messenger
2005-Apr-02, 07:14 AM
LOL Yay Toronto! :D

(I honestly can't say anything more without treading on the rules of the board, I think).

As to your other comments -- yikes!!! :D

Jpax2003
2005-Apr-02, 08:57 AM
hmmm, I never really thought about the movie Alien that way, but I was a kid when it came out. But I think you may have a point. The idea of acidic blood makes sense now, although I think the referent has a base pH. I could say more to explain the male perspective on the "alien" but I won't.

BTW, you can talk about such things at the FWIS board (http://www.loresinger.com/FWIS/). It's kinda like the place where BABBers can let their hair down.

Paul Beardsley
2005-Apr-02, 09:28 AM
For me, the main terror of the Daleks was always their mammary-like appearance. They typically travelled in pairs, they nagged, they threw you into prison as soon as they met you (thus representing the fear of too much commitment from an early stage) or they exterminated you with the fury of a woman scorned. In later episodes they were seen to travel upstairs, which was symbolic of women invading men's sacrosanct haven (i.e. the attic). And inside those cases were small creatures which you never put there yet somehow you are responsible for them...

No, I'm not being serious.


Well, I'm in good company in thinking this.
I don't think good company is the best description here. I liked your observations about Solaris, but arguing gender politics about creatures that are clearly giant versions of the ichneuman wasp seems risible to me. Fear of being eaten from the inside by a nonhuman creature whose mother has laid her eggs inside you is not the same as fear of pregnancy.

Messenger
2005-Apr-02, 05:10 PM
Alien was a scarey movie; it's one of my favourite movies, which is why I am familiar enough with it to be able to spot the exact scene where the alien creature becomes all-too-obviously a play on female fears of violent intimacy. I don't think it hurts the movie, necessarily, although it expects one to be afraid of and demonize the male, at least in that scene; the scene where she gets a porno magazine shoved down her throat is another. However, I don't enjoy that in movies in general; trying to set male against female, making one heroic, and the other evil, one strong, the other weak, etc. To me it's a bit simplistic. The references to pregnancy and horrific offspring and unwanted motherhood brought out in the subsequent films are lost on me because I never feared those things. There is alot there, though, for anyone who wants to explore that in the films.

Kebsis
2005-Apr-03, 08:03 PM
Paul Beardsley wrote:


Huh? The thread title asks for the greatest alien, not necessarily the most frightening

I think I was reading the villain thread and carried it over to this one; I have to stop waiting til after midnight to go online. And, in that case, I agree with you; Solaris is fantastic. I have watched the remake several times; first of all, because the soundtrack is amazing, and secondly, because I only had a rental copy of the first movie, so I use the remake to let me think about those themes again...but I do find them very different. I like the way the movie makes us think about the nature of individuality; how everyone violently rejects their "visitors" except for Kelvin, because the idea that anything could completely reproduce someone to the point that they themselves wouldn't know it is so horrifying. I know that the sequel has been heavily criticized, but I admire anyone who attempts to raise the level of American science fiction; failure or not, at least it's a thoughtful failure.

As far as the movie Alien goes, the whole thing falls apart for me on a very basic level: In the first movie, she is a nearly naked woman being chased around by what turns out to be (in the final scenes on the escape pod) a giant part of the male anatomy. This is laughably obvious in the scene where the steam blasts wake it up and dislodge it. So. Pretty clear what the "message" is here: Woman brave and good, male bad and evil.

Film two brings us a reversal: In this one, the woman is empowered through the Michael Biehn character lending her his "gun," and she is chased around by a female alien, right down to the resemblance of the head of the alien to the pelvic structure of the female skeleton. I'm sorry. I just can't buy into anything so obvious. To me, the movies are so devoted to gender politics, there's not alot left over for science, fictional or otherwise, and the aliens suffer as a result.

It couldn't be that obvious, considering that you're the first person I've ever met who ever made any connection like that. Weiners? Vaginas? Are you serious? They look like skeleton bugs with metal teeth.

What's that thing the BA talks about occasionally where people tend to see faces in everything (Lenin on the shower curtain, seeing Jesus in tacos and clouds, etc)? I think most people have that times 10 when it comes to sex organs.

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-03, 10:30 PM
My thoughts exactly... The aliens are about as phalic as as a 3-way cross between a human, a hornet, and Tyrannosaurus rex - which is basically what they are.

Musashi
2005-Apr-03, 10:36 PM
Ever seen any of Geiger's art?

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-04, 12:36 AM
Huh?

weatherc
2005-Apr-04, 01:41 AM
Huh?

H.R. Geiger (also spelled Giger) is the artist whose work the alien from Alien was based upon. His stuff is pretty odd, and he explores bizarre machine/human erotic themes. I won't post a link to it here based upon the adult nature of some of the work, but feel free to look for it on your own. This may also be part of why a few people see the phallic/sexual undertones in the xenomorph from Alien. I don't see it in this particular creature myself, but others obviously see something different there.

Edit: Added alternate spelling for Geiger.

Messenger
2005-Apr-04, 03:11 AM
I was a fan of his art from my teens; it really is horrific. Images of people embedded into walls, as if the technology had entombed them. People half human, half machine. The ship was more impressive than the alien itself, in my opinion. I wanted to see more of that.

I'm at a disadvantage in discussing this on this site, as it does tend to go into adult themes that perhaps are not appropriate; my understanding is that the site is intended for PG viewing. :D That's okay. Unfortunately, the link I posted earlier is not working, and although there are others, it's perhaps best I leave it at this.

Jpax2003
2005-Apr-04, 08:27 AM
Hmmm, after watching AVP I am wondering if the inclusion of the predator mandibular structure in the newborn xenomorph turns the symbology back to the feminine.

Hazzard
2005-Apr-04, 09:00 AM
Hmmm, after watching AVP I am wondering if the inclusion of the predator mandibular structure in the newborn xenomorph turns the symbology back to the feminine.

Is it just me,or are we a little OFF TOPIC now 8-[

Anyway....John Carpenters / Hawks ...The thing.. WAS NAAASTY :)

captain swoop
2005-Apr-04, 01:36 PM
I will admit a fondness for the Mesklinites of Hal Clement's "Mission of Gravity", although I will admit as characters they were very human-acting. But the adaptation of intelligent life to a planet with 700G at it's surface was and reminas fascinating.

Is that the one where they were out 'on the rim' to meet up with humans?
or somesuch? As I remember the mission leader was worried that they would get used to the lesser gravity and have nasty accidents when they went home.

Kebsis
2005-Apr-04, 08:03 PM
Do Tom Servo and Crow from MSt3k count as aliens? They were built in space.

mid
2005-Apr-05, 09:41 AM
Hmm, I had a big post yesterday about the imagery of the Alien films, but the server problems seem to have eaten it.

Suffice to say that the phallic interpretation is very much THE standard reading of the film in both film studies and psychology teaching. Just look at the Lambert death scene; it's very, very blatent.

Paul Beardsley
2005-Apr-05, 10:19 AM
Suffice to say that the phallic interpretation is very much THE standard reading of the film in both film studies and psychology teaching.
Which probably says more about those courses than anything.

You can draw parallels between anything if you're prepared to do enough cherrypicking. For instance, just for fun, I once "proved" that "The Prisoner" was Patrick McGoohan's TV adaptation of TS Eliot's "The Waste Land".

mid
2005-Apr-05, 12:07 PM
Actually, Ridley and Giger even discuss it in the DVD extras, so it is definitely something intentional.

hewhocaves
2005-Apr-05, 07:57 PM
I

Louis Gossett Jr's reptilian character in Enemy Mine

I looked it up.. they're called the Drac. And they're my favorite. Not a riveting sci-fi adventure, but a great movie

Certassar
2005-Apr-15, 11:50 PM
The Moties were also pretty good. In fact, I think they're the only asymmetrical aliens I've ever read of.
Don't forget Zaphod Beeblebrox! He even has 3 arms like the moties (as well as an extra head).

Although I prefer Giger's alien, I'd like to nominate the crystalline lifeform that in a StarTrek epsiode keeps calling the crew of Enterprise "ugly bags of mostly water".

General Zod
2005-Apr-16, 03:54 AM
That demonic guy (Lord of Darkness?) from the movie Legend creeped me out for many years.

The Blob was pretty neat too. Killer Jell-O. Oh yeah, The Predator was cool too. Not quite as scary as the Aliens though.

MeBeJedi
2005-Apr-16, 05:23 AM
"WTF? The alien doesn't look remotely phalic in the first movie... You're reading too much into it."

Dude, you seriously need to view the "body" of Giger's work before making such claims.

Pretty racy stuff (http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=h+r+giger&sm=Yahoo%21+Search&toggle=1&ei= UTF-8&fr=FP-tab-web-t)

Here's some more good stuff (http://harlot.lchost.co.uk/Giger.htm)

Paul Beardsley
2005-Apr-16, 10:10 AM
"WTF? The alien doesn't look remotely phalic in the first movie... You're reading too much into it."

Dude, you seriously need to view the "body" of Giger's work before making such claims.
Welcome to the board, MeBeJedi.

Giger's work was well known for its overt erotic elements long before Alien came out.

But we're not arguing about the "body" of his work. We're arguing about a specific instance, i.e. the eponymous Alien. And in that specific instance, I think too much is being read into it.

I suspect some people are reluctant to admit that the Alien films are "merely" well-made horror films set in space. All this talk of symbolism sounds like an attempt to imbue them with a faux sophistication.

Let's face it, if we were being chased through confined spaces by one of those beasties, I think we'd be more concerned about its teeth than its shape! :D

JonnyWishbone
2005-Apr-16, 10:20 AM
"WTF? The alien doesn't look remotely phalic in the first movie... You're reading too much into it."

Dude, you seriously need to view the "body" of Giger's work before making such claims.
Welcome to the board, MeBeJedi.

Giger's work was well known for its overt erotic elements long before Alien came out.

But we're not arguing about the "body" of his work. We're arguing about a specific instance, i.e. the eponymous Alien. And in that specific instance, I think too much is being read into it.

I suspect some people are reluctant to admit that the Alien films are "merely" well-made horror films set in space. All this talk of symbolism sounds like an attempt to imbue them with a faux sophistication.

Let's face it, if we were being chased through confined spaces by one of those beasties, I think we'd be more concerned about its teeth than its shape! :D

Darn, there goes the whole academic cottage industry oriented around discussions of the Alien films in relation to Freud's Phallic Mother...

Sometimes a chest-burster is just a chest-burster.

Cheers, Jon

Romanus
2005-Apr-16, 04:01 PM
The creatures from the Alien series, hands-down. As someone who has read some of the Dark Horse comics based on the series, I should say that the "xenomorphs" are much creepier than the movies ever let on, and a lot of horror potential was wasted on the silver screen, IMO.

Woolie Wool
2005-Apr-18, 02:07 PM
I would say Klingons.

And you can't say they're not well thought-out.

Yes they are. They are awful. Typical Roddenbery rubbish.

Take a facet of mankind, and then make an entire race out of it. Not believable. How could a race of warlike barbarians achieve space travel, and a technology on par with The Federation Romulans and Cardassians.
Most of the races in ST basically represent a vice or evil, and by knocking down these races, the Federation knocks down these evils, thus making itself more "civilized". It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.

The Klingons represent babarism and aggression.
The Romulans represent intrigue and deception.
The Ferengi represent greed and materialism.
The Borg represent crushing loss of individuality (and, oddly enough, is in many respects an extrapolation of where the communist TNG+ Federatiion is going)
The Dominion are just an "evil conqueror" race.
The Son'a represent "the man" repressing the virtuous pure hippie Ba'ku.
The Cardassians, well...the Cardassians just suck.

Makgraf
2005-Apr-18, 08:31 PM
I would say Klingons.

And you can't say they're not well thought-out.

Yes they are. They are awful. Typical Roddenbery rubbish.

Take a facet of mankind, and then make an entire race out of it. Not believable. How could a race of warlike barbarians achieve space travel, and a technology on par with The Federation Romulans and Cardassians.
Most of the races in ST basically represent a vice or evil, and by knocking down these races, the Federation knocks down these evils, thus making itself more "civilized". It makes me want to vomit just thinking about it.

The Klingons represent babarism and aggression.
The Romulans represent intrigue and deception.
The Ferengi represent greed and materialism.
The Borg represent crushing loss of individuality (and, oddly enough, is in many respects an extrapolation of where the communist TNG+ Federatiion is going)
The Dominion are just an "evil conqueror" race.
The Son'a represent "the man" repressing the virtuous pure hippie Ba'ku.
The Cardassians, well...the Cardassians just suck.
Maybe the orginal Klingons. Now we're discovered that they're a noble and honourable people. Maybe it came in when their foreheads grew out.

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-19, 12:17 AM
The traeki/Jophur from Brin's Uplift universe were cool... The contrast between the split-minded nature of the traeki and the single-minded ambition of the Jophur was stunning.

The g'Kek were also cool... Admittedly, organic life with integrated wheels seems unlikely, but Brin pulls it off well, and makes their evolution at least somewhat plausible.

SkepticJ
2005-Apr-19, 10:42 PM
I dare you to top the cheela from Dragon's Egg for weirdness and plausibility.

Halcyon Dayz
2005-Apr-20, 12:33 AM
My vote is for the Pierson Puppeteers from Larry Niven and the Dirdir from Jack Vance. 8)

Paul Beardsley
2005-Apr-20, 06:51 AM
Anyone mentioned the Xeelee? Or the Spline ships?

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-20, 12:27 PM
Or the Silver Ghosts? 8)

DukePaul
2005-Apr-20, 09:57 PM
Many a strange and wonderous creatures have been mentioned here but the true greatest alien is the human. Humans have created their own "aliens" throughout history and we recreate legends and creatures in different forms to suit the social enviroment.

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-20, 10:27 PM
Oh, I never saw that one coming... ;)

I don't think that quite applies, though. The "aliens" of science fiction stories are products of our imaginations, whereas we (at least as far as we can ascertain) are not products of our own imaginations.

driftlight
2005-Apr-20, 10:45 PM
Aww, I was too late. I read through this whole thread thinking "Man, anything from Baxter's work kicks butt, I'm gonna post that when I get to the end." And someone has beaten me to it. Grr.

He's written a lot of short stories entirely about "odd" kinds of aliens and modified humans that may as well be aliens. Awesome stuff. I always thought his water-ice based aliens were pretty nifty.

heyzeus321
2005-Apr-21, 04:24 AM
I like the Aliens in the X-files Movie. The mysteriousness of the creatures is what did it for me.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Apr-21, 04:55 AM
The Moties were also pretty good. In fact, I think they're the only asymmetrical aliens I've ever read of.
Don't forget Zaphod Beeblebrox! He even has 3 arms like the moties (as well as an extra head).

You Rang?

What I'd LOVE to See, is How they're um, Handling, the Er, Extra Appendages, or, is that a Spoiler?

Zero Signal
2005-Apr-21, 07:51 AM
Xenomorphs (Alien movies)
Yautja (Predator movies)
Vorlons (Babylon 5)
Species 8472 (Star Trek)
The Covenant (Halo)
Abh (Crest of the Stars)
Zentraedi (Macross)
Mulians (Rahxephon; technically, they're humans from a parallel dimension, but are still significantly different enough to warrant the lable "alien")

As for non-scifi aliens:

Mooninites - Ignignokt and Err (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
Plutonians - Emory and Oglethorpe (ATHF)
Zoidberg (Futurama)

captain swoop
2005-Apr-21, 09:55 AM
What about the Clangers?

SkepticJ
2005-Apr-21, 08:39 PM
Abh (Crest of the Stars)


The Abh are GM humans, not aliens.


And on a humor note I think the Neptunians from Futurama are funny; Elzar the chef in particular.

Yoshua
2005-Apr-24, 02:23 AM
John Carpenter's version of The Thing, definitly the most horrifying to me. The Alien from Aliens is a vicious, nasty creature to be sure but the thought of something killing me and taking my place in the world, that goes well beyond something that just wants to eat me (at least then I am just dead). Plus you have a fighting chance against the Aliens. The Thing is like nigh impossible to kill given it's ability to reproduce so quickly.

But neither of those would b my favorite. I'm a pretty big Niven fan and so far enjoyed all the races he's created. Perhaps the one I liked best would be the Pak Protector's. Though not exactly sure they would qualify as alien. The Pupeteers and Kzinti are close runner ups though.

Weird Dave
2005-Apr-26, 09:34 PM
skyscrapers are phallic in nature- everytime someone builds a big one, some other country has to make a bigger one to show how much better they are.

I don't know about you, but mine isn't square and made of glass...

Seriously, though, I get really annoyed when people go around and say that anything that's vaguely rod-shaped is a phallic symbol. Skyscrapers are tall and pointy because that is how to fit lots of floor space into a small amount of ground space. Rockets are round and pointy because of aerodynamics. Guns are long and hard because that's how you make bullets go in a straight line. Nothing phallic about any of them!

As for the Alien, though, if the person who designed it said it's a phallic symbol, then who are we to disagree? I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been told, though.

As for my alien suggestions:

The red stuff, from John Wyndham's short story. A sort of licheny thing that keeps on growing.

The aliens from Baxter's Space that travel around with solar sails. Once they've invaded a solar system, and stolen its resources, they blow up the star to carry them on to the next. That sort of vandalism has a kind of class to it, but more important is how that lifestyle illustrates the central theme of the book.

The Tyrathca from Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn [yes, I am still going on about it!]. They start out being slightly cliched "ultra-stable noble alien culture that hasn't changed in millenia", but the revelations in the third book [by the British numbering] show them to be much deeper than that. The Orgathe are good for scare value, too.

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Jul-18, 11:28 PM
Xenomorphs (Alien movies)
Yautja (Predator movies)
Vorlons (Babylon 5)
Species 8472 (Star Trek)
The Covenant (Halo)
Abh (Crest of the Stars)
Zentraedi (Macross)
Mulians (Rahxephon; technically, they're humans from a parallel dimension, but are still significantly different enough to warrant the lable "alien")

As for non-scifi aliens:

Mooninites - Ignignokt and Err (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
Plutonians - Emory and Oglethorpe (ATHF)
Zoidberg (Futurama)


nice list, although I don't know most of those aliens
here another thread http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=22075
Aliens In Sci-Fi Movies/Books?

Samara
2005-Jul-19, 02:00 AM
I'm going to be completly out of nowhere and say STITCH from Lilo and Stitch because he's cute but evil

Like me! :wink:

Launch window
2005-Jul-21, 08:35 AM
Actually most of the civilizations from TNG were NOT single faceted, but adapted governments from Earth.

The Klingons were adapted from Japanese dynastic warrior cultures.

The Cardassians were modern Chinese.

The Bajorans were Hindu, right down to the title Vedek.

The Romulans evolved into very good Soviet counterparts.

The Ferengi were pretty original, but they were Capitalists gone awry.

Federation aliens had the "single facet" flaw, but the "enemy" aliens were actually well developed adaptations. The strength of those adaptations of Earth governments into alien forms were what formed the foundation of Deep Space 9's excellent development in the last half of its run.

Lets just understand something here, I may despise B&B for what they did to Star Trek in the last two iterations of it, but the fact is, they used to be very good at this stuff. Gene hated the idea of DS9, but after he died, Berman pushed forward with it and put forward what I think is the best Trek to date. The problem with TNG, TOS, and Voyager aliens was the lack of connection to them. You see them for an episode, and then poof, they're gone, unless they're a recurring villain. There's no sense of progression. DS9 stabilized the environment, then was forced to put forward some alien development, and it worked great once they got the hang of it.

If they really want to save the series, I think the next iteration needs to draw on the strength they found in DS9. For once, we need to get to know the Federation as something other than a picture on a viewscreen.


this guy says - Klingons and the Romulans represented the USSR and China
http://hypatia.slashcity.org/trekshack/racetrk1.html

Sock Munkey
2005-Jul-21, 02:07 PM
The Cardassians always struck me as more Nazi-ish but maybe that's just me.

Launch window
2005-Sep-07, 03:34 AM
Alien was a scarey movie; it's one of my favourite movies, which is why I am familiar enough with it to be able to spot the exact scene where the alien creature becomes all-too-obviously a play on female fears of violent intimacy. I don't think it hurts the movie, necessarily, although it expects one to be afraid of and demonize the male, at least in that scene; the scene where she gets a porno magazine shoved down her throat is another. However, I don't enjoy that in movies in general; trying to set male against female, making one heroic, and the other evil, one strong, the other weak, etc. To me it's a bit simplistic. The references to pregnancy and horrific offspring and unwanted motherhood brought out in the subsequent films are lost on me because I never feared those things. There is alot there, though, for anyone who wants to explore that in the films.

whihc was the better film - Ridley Scott version or James Cameron

mid
2005-Sep-07, 10:12 AM
Cameron's sequel tastes too much of apple, while Scott's film has that lovely orangeness about it.

Charly
2005-Sep-10, 11:36 PM
Lets face it.

Camerons is the better, as it stands up as better entertainment on repeat viewings. The problem with horror is it tends not to be scarry after the 10th viewing, whereas the high-octane action genre can still satisfy.

Arneb
2005-Sep-11, 06:35 PM
I'll go for the living, conscious, but totally impenetrable ocean in Solaris (the book; I don't know about the films).

Mainly because it brings home a very interesting and obvious point which has never been taken up in SF: If there is indeed extraterrestrial life we could make contact with (slim chance), then there is absolutely no way to say if there was any way of understanding it or making ourselves understood to it.

That's the great philosphical point in Solaris: Who ever said the way humans see their world is universal or, even if it is, universally communicable?

As to all the TV show aliens, expecially Star Trek: Yeah, fun, sometimes, but utterly human, utterly trivial. Bad actors with funny things on their foreheads. Ursula K. LeGuin put it best: "Science fiction is never about the future; always about the present".

As to the Alien species=foreign governments argument: Yes, outside of the US one does get the impression that the American view of ROW (rest of the world) has about this degree of differentiation as is reflected in the character taits of the assorted alien species.



The Borg represent crushing loss of individuality (and, oddly enough, is in many respects an extrapolation of where the communist TNG+ Federatiion is going)

I love it when people say the Federation is Communist. Wonderful. Probably F.D.Roosevelt was Communist, or Bill Clinton. Bush Senior, too. As someone who has actually seen a bit of Communism (small doses, luckily), this is, umm - let's stick with funny.

diskmaster
2005-Sep-12, 04:17 AM
One can look back to see some of the epic themes, one example is the EE "Doc" Smith books like the Skylark series books. Good guys Dick Seaton, Martin Crane and good foke of the other races in the galaxy, Osnomian, Norlaminians and more. Bad guys and companies Dr. Marc C. DuQuesne and World Steel, other races, the Fenachrone and the Chlorans, etc. I am drawing form the 1930's but good verses evil was used thenas well..

mid
2005-Sep-12, 03:06 PM
Lets face it.

Camerons is the better, as it stands up as better entertainment on repeat viewings. The problem with horror is it tends not to be scarry after the 10th viewing, whereas the high-octane action genre can still satisfy.

So you prefer Apples; I mean Action movies?

I'd definitely argue that Scott's is the 'better' film; better acted, better shot by miles (the grain on Cameron's cheap stock is hideous before we even reach the artistic arguments) and is always going to be better at standing alone purely because it isn't a sequel. But fundamentally, you're not going to watch it if you want action any more than you'd turn to Aliens if you want a carefully paced horror film.

I'd also disagree that scary films struggle with repeat viewings; I've lost track of the number of times I've seen both Alien and Jaws over the years, but they would both make my all-time top five without a moment's hesitation.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-12, 08:19 PM
I love it when people say the Federation is Communist. Wonderful. Probably F.D.Roosevelt was Communist, or Bill Clinton. Bush Senior, too. As someone who has actually seen a bit of Communism (small doses, luckily), this is, umm - let's stick with funny.
Call It a Socialist Utopia, and Split the Difference?

Seriously, they DO, Have a Left-Leaning Perspective ...

But, That Just Might Be, Gene Roddenberry's Influence.

:liar:

parallaxicality
2005-Sep-12, 10:17 PM
Yeah. Gene Roddenberry was a leftie. Big wow. Next you'll be mooting that Goerge Orwell was of a slightly liberal bent.

Favourite alien? I've always liked Chocky.

BlackStar
2005-Sep-14, 09:43 AM
John Carpenter's version of The Thing, definitly the most horrifying to me.

I agree! Quite a nasty concept!

John Carpenter's remake of this 1951 classic is a perfect example of a GOOD remake! ("Scarface" is another one!).

I wish I could say the same about all the superficial garbage coming out of "Drollywood" these days! (Sob...)!

Jakenorrish
2005-Sep-14, 10:08 AM
Zaphod Beeblebrox of course!

Arneb
2005-Sep-14, 11:40 AM
Call It a Socialist Utopia, and Split the Difference?

Seriously, they DO, Have a Left-Leaning Perspective ...

But, That Just Might Be, Gene Roddenberry's Influence.

:liar:

We should probably just call it a Utopia - whithout the Socialist. I think the Golden Age which Roddenberry projects in his concept of the Star Trek Universe would be even less believable if it consisted of Wall Street enjoying an uninterrupted bull market for 150 years, everybodey wearing firearms happily, the Bad guys done away with by a sharply enforced death penalty, every little village in Montana defying the tax office with armed force, and The Rt. Reverent Bush presiding over a uniformly devout cabinet as the 103rd World President (as in "World" series)...

No seriously - Roddenberry paints a world where money is not of foremost importance, where competition is friendly and not cutthroat and where compassion and support for the weaker member of society does not result in ripping off social security - a Utopia where everybody is able as well as allowed to take care of himself and work for the greater good. Yes, that's almost pathetically Utopian, but it's not really Socialism.

But sorry, off topic.
Yes, if nobody wants to take me up on the world-wrapping ocean in "Solaris", I'll second Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy, as my second favourite alien.

Launch window
2005-Sep-14, 04:31 PM
http://www1.odn.ne.jp/~aac65140/images/bigchap/0018.jpg

so a lot of you folks like the B5 and 'Alien' creatures


http://voyageur.idic.ca/images/Londo_G'Kar.gif

VanderL
2005-Sep-14, 04:55 PM
Coneheads narfling the Garthok?

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-14, 05:21 PM
Zaphod Beeblebrox of course!
THANKS ...

[Takes a Bow]

:D

Arneb
2005-Sep-14, 06:38 PM
THANKS ...

[Takes a Bow]

:D


No, no, no, no, no....We're talking about THE Zaphod Beeblebrox.
Care to show me your second head? :razz:

One Skunk Todd
2005-Sep-14, 09:31 PM
Care to show me your second head?

Hehe, that's so wrong, at least in my mind anyway. :)

RUF
2005-Sep-14, 09:45 PM
Yoda's cool-- but my favourite has to be Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Matherly
2005-Sep-14, 10:16 PM
We're talking about THE Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Sorry, but that made me think of the Hitchhiker's Radio Series (from memory, so not verbatum)

(Scene: The Lobby of the Guide's Editing Building)

Zaphod: Get me Zarniwhoop!

Receptionist: If you will just stay cool, sir.

Zaphod (getting angry): Listen you. I'm so cool you could keep a side of meat on me for a week. I'm so hip, I have trouble seeing over my pelvis. Now, GET ME ZARNIWHOOP!

Receptionist: Who do you think you are, sir? Zaphod Beelblebrox?

Zaphod(coldly): Cound the heads.

Receptionist: Oh my God! You ARE Zaphod Beelblebrox!

Zaphod: Yea, but keep it down or else everyone will want one

Receptionist(in awe): THE Zaphod Beelblebrox?

Zaphod (losing all patience): No, just A Zaphod Beeblebrox. Haven't you heard? I come in six-packs. Now, GET ME ZARNIWHOOP!

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-14, 10:17 PM
Care to show me your second head?
Hehe, that's so wrong, at least in my mind anyway. :)
Remind me, To Take a Picture ...

So, Is it Ok, If One of The HEADS, is Female?

:lol:

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-14, 10:21 PM
Care to show me your second head?Sorry, but that made me think of the Hitchhiker's Radio Series (from memory, so not verbatum)

(Scene: The Lobby of the Guide's Editing Building)

Zaphod: Get me Zarniwhoop!

Receptionist: If you will just stay cool, sir.

Zaphod (getting angry): Listen you. I'm so cool you could keep a side of meat on me for a week. I'm so hip, I have trouble seeing over my pelvis. Now, GET ME ZARNIWHOOP!

Receptionist: Who do you think you are, sir? Zaphod Beelblebrox?

Zaphod(coldly): Cound the heads.

Receptionist: Oh my God! You ARE Zaphod Beelblebrox!

Zaphod: Yea, but keep it down or else everyone will want one

Receptionist(in awe): THE Zaphod Beelblebrox?

Zaphod (losing all patience): No, just A Zaphod Beeblebrox. Haven't you heard? I come in six-packs. Now, GET ME ZARNIWHOOP!
Took him, Long Enough ...

Huh?

:doh:

supermc
2005-Sep-15, 01:46 PM
Jason made the best call...............an alien race who weve never seen, who we cannot therefore comprehend. All the others however scary are defeatable because weve seen them and can therefore spot/find their weaknesess.

Jason wins....send him his prize !!!!!!!

Jakenorrish
2005-Sep-15, 03:39 PM
My favourite Zaphod bit is when he discovers Arthur Dent has completely tied up the Computer's memory by making tea. Classic!

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-15, 04:20 PM
My favourite Zaphod bit is when he discovers Arthur Dent has completely tied up the Computer's memory by making tea. Classic!
Well ...

We're Under ATTACK, and he's, Making a Drink!!!!

I'm So Glad, my Great-Grandpa, Got Us, Out of That One!!!

Thanks, of course, Go To, Zaphod Beeblebrox IV!!!

:clap:

Matherly
2005-Sep-15, 06:05 PM
(To fill in those who don't know...)

Ford Prefect: Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth?
Zaphod: Yea. I'm Zaphod Beeblebrox, my dad's Zaphod Beeblebrox the Second, my grandad's Zaphod Beeblebrox the Third... there was an accedent with a contraceptive and a time machine...

:)

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-15, 06:53 PM
(To fill in those who don't know...)

Ford Prefect: Zaphod Beeblebrox the Fourth?
Zaphod: Yea. I'm Zaphod Beeblebrox, my dad's Zaphod Beeblebrox the Second, my grandad's Zaphod Beeblebrox the Third... there was an accedent with a contraceptive and a time machine...

:)
Darn Contraceptives ...

Still, There's NOTHING, About Being your Own Father, that a Properly Adjusted Family, Can't Handle!

Samara
2005-Sep-15, 07:56 PM
Still say Stich from Lilo and Stich

And of course, the Aliens in 2001, although technically you didn't see them

Launch window
2005-Sep-16, 06:03 AM
That demonic guy (Lord of Darkness?) from the movie Legend creeped me out for many years.

The Blob was pretty neat too. Killer Jell-O. Oh yeah, The Predator was cool too. Not quite as scary as the Aliens though.


sci fi horror like 'Blob' and 'The-Thing' were done very well

eburacum45
2005-Sep-16, 11:51 AM
Kang:[masculine voice] My name is Kang, and this is my sister Kodos.
Kodos: [masculine voice] Hello.

Matherly
2005-Sep-16, 02:19 PM
Quiet You!

(Just kidding, eburacum45. :) You gotta love Kang and Kodos)

TwAgIssmuDe
2005-Sep-16, 09:01 PM
Best alien for me! I think the president of the galaxy from 'The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy', him and his alter ego. Are my favorate alien..

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-17, 12:36 AM
Best alien for me! I think the president of the galaxy from 'The Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy', him and his alter ego. Are my favorate alien..

You Rang ...

[WAVES]

:D

snabald
2005-Sep-17, 05:13 AM
I have always liked the Quintessons... :D

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/08/Ultimate_Guide_Quintessons.jpg

James_Digriz
2005-Oct-06, 03:34 AM
One of the most original was the dog like creatures from the Hugo winning A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.

You needed 4 aliens to make a whole person. Anything less and the mind broke down and the indivdual creature/s became single animals. One part of the creature could be killed and replaced with another thus adding that creatures thoughts and experiences to the whole being. I have read a lot of Sci-Fi and this is the most original concept for an alien I have ever come across. I don't remember the name of the story that Vinge got the idea from but he did enough with it with his own perspective to win a Hugo. If you've never read it do so as soon as possible. It's one of the classics of Sci-Fi.

Gullible Jones
2005-Oct-10, 01:11 AM
Alastair Reynold's Grubs are cool.

"You ate Lago, you stupid worm!"

TheBlackCat
2005-Oct-10, 01:58 AM
I personally loved the alien from the Alien series, as well as the Predator. Alien I didn't really find scary, probably because I had already read several of the comics and books before I finally got around to watching the movies. The Predator I just thought was a cool idea. Something humanoid, intelligent, and technological, but completely alien in its behavior and society.

Another alien I like a lot is the metroids from the Metroid video game series. You can't beat fanged, energy-sucking flying jellyfish. :D Add the fact that they are nearly indestructible, breed quickly, kill anything they come in contact with, and grow into vicious, heavily armored, 10-foot tall, energy-spitting killing machines doesn't hurt either. All the aliens from the Metroid series are great. Especially Super Metroid. You are unlikely to find a larger, more evil and more dangerous-looking collection of alien monsters in any other single work. They cover pretty much every possible monster archetype including giant insects, wasps, bats, dragons, lava, slime creatures, humanoids, disembodied organs, fish, robots, ghosts, snakes, and many combinations of these archetypes.

Gullible Jones
2005-Oct-10, 03:18 AM
While we're on the subject of monsters, how 'bout Vogons? ;D

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Oct-10, 04:03 AM
While we're on the subject of monsters, how 'bout Vogons? ;D

NEVER ....

Invite them, To a Party!!!

:lol:

James_Digriz
2005-Oct-13, 02:53 AM
Dang. I can't find the quote. I'll give it a shot:

"A Vogon wouldn't even save his own grandmother from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Trall unless he had orders signed in triplicate, recieved, sent back, quried, lost, and then buried in peat moss for 6 months and recycled as cigarette lighters."

Not bad. Not bad.Read the book more then a few times. Great stuff.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Oct-13, 04:45 AM
Dang. I can't find the quote. I'll give it a shot:

"A Vogon wouldn't even save his own grandmother from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Trall unless he had orders signed in triplicate, recieved, sent back, quried, lost, and then buried in peat moss for 6 months and recycled as cigarette lighters."

Not bad. Not bad.Read the book more then a few times. Great stuff.
And, "How, do you make a Vogon Angry?

"You feed his Grandmother, to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal!"

AGN Fuel
2005-Oct-13, 05:42 AM
I liked the Psirens from Red Dwarf.

Gotta straw??

Gemini
2005-Oct-13, 10:57 PM
Definitely, the Monolith, according to the novel

James_Digriz
2005-Oct-14, 12:28 AM
I liked the Psirens from Red Dwarf.

Gotta straw??

One of my favorite episodes.

"Ehy! Get thet straw ohut of ma eer!!!"

Hutch
2005-Oct-14, 08:56 PM
One more I haven't seen mentioned; Chee Lan and Adzel from Poul Anderson's Trader to the Stars series. They always seemed more real to me than some of the human characters.

And who wouldn't love to see all those marvelous aliens James White put into Sector General in his "Hospital Station" Novels?

James_Digriz
2005-Oct-15, 12:25 AM
All of Larry Niven's aliens.

Kzinti, Bandersnatchi, Thrint, Puppeteers.

What I really hate is seeing the Kzin drawn as big fluffy cats that look like our cats here on earth. The best drawings I have seen of them is on the inside covers of some of his older novels. They looked "Alien."

The Hoolavoo from the Hitchikders Guide. It was a hyper-intelligent shade of the color blue.

Dave Mitsky
2005-Oct-18, 10:51 AM
How about the Killer Klowns From Outer Space?

http://www.ajhakari.com/k/killerklownsfromouterspace.html

On a more serious note, many intriguing and/or frightening alien species have been discussed so far but I'd like to add two more. The cloud creature in Fred Hoyle's _The Black Cloud_ deserves mention by virtue of its size and strangeness if for no other reasons.

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/B/BlackCloud.html

Gregory Benford's mechs are pretty mean characters but the aliens known as the Foe in Fred Pohl's Heechee series are probably the biggest badposteriors of all since their goal is to destroy the entire universe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heechee

Dave Mitsky

Launch window
2006-Jan-19, 08:58 AM
Xenomorphs (Alien movies)
Yautja (Predator movies)
Vorlons (Babylon 5)
Species 8472 (Star Trek)
The Covenant (Halo)
Abh (Crest of the Stars)
Zentraedi (Macross)
Mulians (Rahxephon; technically, they're humans from a parallel dimension, but are still significantly different enough to warrant the lable "alien")

As for non-scifi aliens:

Mooninites - Ignignokt and Err (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
Plutonians - Emory and Oglethorpe (ATHF)
Zoidberg (Futurama)


nice list there !

HenrikOlsen
2006-Jan-19, 12:47 PM
One of the most original was the dog like creatures from the Hugo winning A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.

You needed 4 aliens to make a whole person. Anything less and the mind broke down and the indivdual creature/s became single animals. One part of the creature could be killed and replaced with another thus adding that creatures thoughts and experiences to the whole being. I have read a lot of Sci-Fi and this is the most original concept for an alien I have ever come across. I don't remember the name of the story that Vinge got the idea from but he did enough with it with his own perspective to win a Hugo. If you've never read it do so as soon as possible. It's one of the classics of Sci-Fi.
Sounds a bit like the Traeki/Jophur of Brin's uplift universe, consisting of multiple rings which individually have the intelligence of a stunned puppy, but with the ability to fuse their nervous systems to a multipartite whole which is quite a lot smarter though the Traeki suffer the handicap of all rings having a voice in decisions, something the Jophur did away with by having a master ring which always has control.
With rings specialised in various ways, it's basically a build-your-own critter.

The whole universe has an interesting feel, since the aliens do not have to have an evolutionary reason for being as they are, that's just how they where designed.
The other nice part is that humans are generally despised (because they where not designed) and a definite underdog which happen all too seldomly in SF.

Maksutov
2006-Jan-19, 01:16 PM
I like Simak's cobblies. Interdimensional nasties that feed off what's real. If Hoagland happens to be reincarnated, then...well, you get the idea.

My major alien disappointment was finding out Leela was a mutant, not an alien: she had my "sexiest alien" vote up to that point.

Re dogs, they might not be aliens, but I also like the dogs who become the dominant species on Earth after Simak's websters fade into memory.


"There isn't any room," said Joshua. "You travel back along the line of time and you don't find the past, but another world, another bracket of consciousness. The earth would be the same, you see, or almost the same. Same trees, same rivers, same hills, but it wouldn't be the world we know. Because it has lived a different life, it has developed differently. The second back of us is not the second back of us at all, but another second, a totally separate sector of time. We live in the same second all the time. We move along within the bracket of that second, that tiny bit of time that has been allotted to our particular world."
"The way we keep time was to blame," said Ichabod. "It was the thing that kept us from thinking of it in the way it really was. For we thought all the time that we were passing through time when we really weren't, when we never have. We've just been moving along with time. We said, there's another second gone, there's another minute and another hour and another day, when, as a matter of fact the second or the minute or the hour was never gone. It was the same one all the time. It had just moved along and we had moved with it."
Jenkins nodded. "I see. Like driftwood on the river. Chips moving with the river. And the scene changes along the river bank, but the water is the same."
"That's roughly it," said Joshua. "Except that time is a rigid stream and the different worlds are more firmly fixed in place than the driftwood on the river."
"And the cobblies live in those other worlds?"
Joshua nodded. "I'm sure they must."

ggremlin
2006-Jan-20, 08:38 PM
I'm a fan of Larry Niven and David Brin, designers of some of the most fantastic aliens and civilizations in fiction.

In the movies, I think the best alien life form has to be the Alien of the same named movie. However I have sometimes wondered: are they intelligent or just the worst nightmare of an insect hive based society?

SolusLupus
2006-Jan-20, 09:19 PM
The Gatekeepers from Schlock Mercenary were pretty cool.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-21, 03:47 AM
In the movies, I think the best alien life form has to be the Alien of the same named movie. However I have sometimes wondered: are they intelligent or just the worst nightmare of an insect hive based society?

Intelligent but not sentient.

Chip
2006-Jan-21, 08:52 PM
And of course there is good old Exeter from "This Island Earth" and his rollicking multilingual, pickup truck blasting sidekick, Brak. (Not to mention that kindly old civic leader, the Monitor of Metaluna!)

Alasdhair
2006-Jan-21, 11:15 PM
Not being a biologist I can't say how realistic or likely such a creature would be, but probably my favorite from literature would be the Grendels from Niven and Pournelle's "Legacy of Hereot" and "Children of Beowulf" books. In fact, the whole ecosystem, much more thoroughly described in the second book, was well done.

Based on a real-life species of tree frog

3rdvogon
2006-Jan-25, 12:25 PM
I liked the original Alien and certainly in the original film it was very effective largely because you barely got a fleeting look at the whole creature and so did not start to think of it being so much as a man in rubber suit.

I generally don't like humanoid aliens - for that reason nearly all the aliens in all the series of S/T and its derivatives irritate me a little.

Someone earlier on mentioned the Daleks - of course they are very dated and clunky by today's standards but in their time they were a very effecitve idea and showed a lot of imagination as to what could be done with a very small budget.

I think my favourite Aliens have to be the Shadows in B5 - definately not humanoid with a very mysterious past and difficult to fathom goals and intentions clearly long lived and intelligent but with a deliberate lack of clarity about their social organisation personal habits other than they are master's of manipulation and corruption.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2006-Jan-25, 04:39 PM
I liked the original Alien and certainly in the original film it was very effective largely because you barely got a fleeting look at the whole creature and so did not start to think of it being so much as a man in rubber suit.

I generally don't like humanoid aliens - for that reason nearly all the aliens in all the series of S/T and its derivatives irritate me a little.

Someone earlier on mentioned the Daleks - of course they are very dated and clunky by today's standards but in their time they were a very effecitve idea and showed a lot of imagination as to what could be done with a very small budget.

I think my favourite Aliens have to be the Shadows in B5 - definately not humanoid with a very mysterious past and difficult to fathom goals and intentions clearly long lived and intelligent but with a deliberate lack of clarity about their social organisation personal habits other than they are master's of manipulation and corruption.
Just Goes to Show, Spending Money on a Movie, Doesn't Necessarily, Make it Good ...

Per Example, The Original Terminator, Was Made, On Such a Show-String Budget ...

It Cost Less Money, to Make, than to Buy Arnold's Trailer, for The Sequel!

Charly
2006-Jan-25, 08:29 PM
I always liked the idea of the Tyranids from Warhammer 40,000

A huge fleet of biological ships that travel from system to system, stripping all planets of every resource, and then using this matter to create more creatures and ships to service the fleet. Like a huge mass of organic factories sailing through space.

Locusts with bigger teeth....

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-26, 01:54 AM
The Thing. Both the John Carpenter version and the '84 Kurt Russel movie version.

Vaelroth
2006-Jan-26, 02:14 AM
Giger's Alien and the Tyranids are my favorite. I like Giger's Alien because it appeals to every childhood fantasy about strange creatures and all of his art gets me pumped up. Tyranids are jsut flippin awesome because of their sheer destructive power, it blows me away.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-26, 02:19 AM
Giger's Alien and the Tyranids are my favorite. I like Giger's Alien because it appeals to every childhood fantasy about strange creatures and all of his art gets me pumped up. Tyranids are jsut flippin awesome because of their sheer destructive power, it blows me away.

Yeah, Giger's stuff is just sureal, bizzare, disturbing, creepy and gross. Just like his Alien design. That thing is just awfull. Best movie ever tied with Star Wars.

Anybody know if the Warhammer books are any good?

mid
2006-Jan-26, 09:14 AM
The Thing. Both the John Carpenter version and the '84 Kurt Russel movie version.

Come again? The Carpenter version is the Kurt Russell version. Which was released in 1982.

Do you mean to also mention the 1951 film "The Thing From Another World"?

I'll stop being so nerdy in a minute, sorry.

DukePaul
2006-Jan-26, 10:34 PM
The Thing (1982) had many things going for it. Effective but simple music soundtrack, a good cast, the outside scenes gave you the feeling that it was in the Antarctic and the interior shots had a claustrophobic effect. Also the whole story isn't spelled for you, in that, was the Thing the owner of the alien ship or possibly did the owner crash the ship because the Thing was trying to absorb/assume the ship's occupents? This movie's ending I liked because you really don't know if the horror is over. One of the best aliens by far.

Damburger
2006-Jan-26, 11:14 PM
Storytelling wise - would have to be the Narns of Bablyon 5. I know its not a popular choice, but I'm sticking with it.

Visually, Gigers alien has everything beaten hands down.

James_Digriz
2006-Jan-27, 12:41 AM
Come again? The Carpenter version is the Kurt Russell version. Which was released in 1982.

Do you mean to also mention the 1951 film "The Thing From Another World"?

I'll stop being so nerdy in a minute, sorry.

I seperated them becuase in the story it's never made clear how the alien "absorbs" someone while in the movie it's sort of clear. Big time.

Launch window
2006-Feb-19, 10:15 AM
Paul Beardsley wrote:



Sorry, I should really go check, but is this the same as Solaris from the movie(s)? What did you find frightening about it?

I've watched Solaris several times; the remake was very different from the original, which I've only seen once. Didn't know there was a book...or am I confused?

This Solaris first came from a Polish science fiction novel and Russian movie back in the 60s and 1970s. It was re-made recently by Hollywood, the Soderbergh movie stars George Clooney and Natascha McElhone, the original Andrei Tarkovsky film was called Russia's answer to 2001SpaceOdyssey, in the Solaris a distant planet is actually a giant alien life-form and in the movie, scientists agressively try to probe the 'living planet' - the planet which then responds by upsetting the human scientists brains, and laying bare their own thoughts and inner personalities such as events from their past or lost loved ones and the planet responds by probing the human scientist's repressed thoughts and private memories. The Holywood/Soderbergh version the Solaris appears to be a star, rather than an ocean world, both the Russian and American films are good but have different adapations of the original Stanisław Lem novel. The special FX and sound are quiet dated in Russia's version but in reviews it is considered to be a better film than the re-made hollywood version.

Dave Mitsky
2006-Feb-22, 03:09 PM
The Thing (1982) had many things going for it. Effective but simple music soundtrack, a good cast, the outside scenes gave you the feeling that it was in the Antarctic and the interior shots had a claustrophobic effect. Also the whole story isn't spelled for you, in that, was the Thing the owner of the alien ship or possibly did the owner crash the ship because the Thing was trying to absorb/assume the ship's occupents? This movie's ending I liked because you really don't know if the horror is over. One of the best aliens by far.

John Carpenter's "The Thing" is woefullly underated, IMO. It's a great science fiction movie.

Dave Mitsky

Mellow
2006-May-03, 02:00 PM
cyswxman - I agree, the Blob for me too

Launch window
2006-Jun-08, 04:06 PM
Parasitic Goa'uld from Stargate were a nice idea,
http://www.tvacres.com/aliens_parasitic_goauld.htm
Carpenter's "The Thing" is great, and the BSG remake of the tv show is good but we've the Cylons before in the original version

Trantor
2006-Jun-08, 07:25 PM
John Carpenter's "The Thing" is woefullly underated, IMO. It's a great science fiction movie.

Dave Mitsky

I really liked it as well. The part where they are testing the blood samples to see who's who was very well done and scary as hell. When the blood jump out of the cup - I jumped as well. One of the best Sci-fi Horror movies ever. I need to get that dvd.

Chip
2006-Jun-08, 07:27 PM
This goes back a bit before the times of many of the folks here, but under the category of "humanoid aliens", the aliens from the Daystar Studios, the outfit that created the original, black & white "Outer Limits" series, were pretty terrific. Most were somewhat reminiscent of the early "Star Trek" creatures, which is hardly surprising since Gene Roddenbury snuck over to attend the daily "Outer Limits" rushes and later drew from the same special effects people for his show.

There were also some non-humanoid exceptions; the Zanti Misfits were pretty creepy, as was their pre-translated language. There were some aliens that were simply dark rocks and invisible aliens that communicated through moving objects around.

Two of my earlier "Outer Limits" favorites were the Galaxy Being who was transported from an overly powerful radio signal and the man-made alien from "The Architects of Fear" episode, which had a lot of horrific cold war overtones. TV is rarely that intellectual these days. Some exceptions being "Babylon 5" and HBO’s now canceled, super weird non-SciFi show, "Carnavale".

Doodler
2006-Jun-08, 10:06 PM
this guy says - Klingons and the Romulans represented the USSR and China
http://hypatia.slashcity.org/trekshack/racetrk1.html

I could see that, but when DS9 introduced the great houses of the Klingon Empire, I couldn't help but draw parallels to the warrior houses of the Japanese Shogunate. The Shoguns had the power, paralleled in the Klingon High Council, while the Emporer was more a spiritual leader who handled "higher matters".

HenrikOlsen
2006-Jun-08, 10:18 PM
A funny thing here is that I know several who see Klingons as depicting an essentially viking culture, including their honor concept and their family feuds.

Doodler
2006-Jun-08, 10:49 PM
The thing is, its a matter of perception. The basic format of an honorbound oligarchy is generic enough that with enough shedding of the details, the basic outline can be seen to apply to a number of different societies.

redshifter
2006-Jun-08, 11:38 PM
There were also some non-humanoid exceptions; the Zanti Misfits were pretty creepy, as was their pre-translated language.

That was the first Outer Limits episode I ever saw (it was a rerun, it would've been in the mid 70's), I was about 8 - 10 at the time. Those Zantis scared the living daylights out of me!

Metricyard
2006-Jun-08, 11:52 PM
That was the first Outer Limits episode I ever saw (it was a rerun, it would've been in the mid 70's), I was about 8 - 10 at the time. Those Zantis scared the living daylights out of me!

I remeber that episode as well (of course I saw it when it first aired, hate getting old) and it was pretty creepy.

Speaking of Outer Limits, the not so much a scary monster but scary Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare At 20,000 Feet" with William Shatner scared the poop out of me when I was a young lad.

I think it's the only show that William Shatner actually had to do any real acting, now that I think about it:lol:

edit -- to add scary monster.

The alien from Alien hands down. My second vote goes to the Vorlons from B5. Cryptic, powerful, and they've always been there.

Ara Pacis
2006-Jun-09, 12:14 AM
The greatest alien ever?

How about a bowl of petunias?

PhantomWolf
2006-Jun-09, 12:55 AM
Hmm, the greatest alien ever, or the best looking one? Or at perhaps the best appearing one.

Greatest - Superman, they don't come greater than him.
Best Looking - Natasha Henstridge as Sil would certainly rate up there, well in her "Human" form. A few of the Trek women too, lol.
Best Appearance - I love Giger's artwork, so I can't go past the real thing, the Xenomorphs from Alien/Aliens/Alien3. Sil in her alien form was pretty good too, though being another Giger creation very Xenomorph-like

yuzuha
2006-Jun-09, 01:20 AM
I kind of liked the moties in The Mote in God's Eye. They seemed to be well thought out.

I'll second the moties! I also liked the little centipede critters in Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity. For movies I liked the Krell in Forbidden Planet (they were extinct but had really cool technology), and the original concept of the aliens in Alien (the scenes involving it were cut from the movie but they were all asexual creatures that reproduced by laying a small egg inside a victim and webbing them up... when the egg hatched it ate the victim and became one of those pods containing a face-hugger. Didn't need some silly queen... any alien could infest an entire planet). Favorite robot is still Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still.

stutefish
2006-Jun-09, 04:30 PM
My favorite alien creatures in Science Fiction are humans.

They're inquisitive, adaptive, resourceful, and social. They display an aptitude for both collective and individual action. They generally don't take no for an answer, and you can always find a human or group of humans who believe that it's never too late to keep trying.

They're creative and energetic, and they seem to relish overcoming obstacles.

In the long run, no other alien race can conquer or destroy them: there's always some human, somewhere, scheming to turn the tables and overthrow the oppressors.

Humans are who the Asgard call on, when their own enlightenment and technology are insufficient to the challenges they face. The "Tau'ri" have an impressive track record in killing galactic overlords.

Larry Niven has written several compelling short stories and novels about the superiority of humans among the intelligent races of the galaxy. In one, space aliens trade their hyperdrive technology to humans, in exchange for the Earthling's superior robotics and precision probe technology. In others, humans repeatedly defeat the galaxy's greatest warrior race (I guess that should be "second greatest").

Humans are central to defeating the Shadow, in B5.

Humans don't shy away from exploring, from new worlds and new civilizations, to the other side of black holes, to hell itself. And they always learn valuable life lessons from their experiences.

But humans aren't afraid to make mistakes, and they don't hesitate to question old truths (like "don't explore hell"); it's always a good time to try again where the ancients predict only failure.

Humans find value in both diplomacy and war, in both commerce and cheating, in both defense and offence.

Humans have an uncontrollable urge to do the impossible, which allows them to overcome even the worst limitations of their biology and physiology.

Humans are guided by a code of honor that they often fail to live up to, but nevertheless look to as an ideal.

For these and many other reasons besides, I nominate humans as the greatest Alien creature in Science Fiction.

parallaxicality
2006-Jun-09, 04:57 PM
The thing is, its a matter of perception. The basic format of an honorbound oligarchy is generic enough that with enough shedding of the details, the basic outline can be seen to apply to a number of different societies.

The Klingons borrow heavily from many "heroic" cultures. The overall style of their clothes, art, honour code and ideology is basically Japanese; the idea of bonds of allegience to a lord, of drinking at his table is very much Germano-Celtic (of which the Vikings were a part, but by no means the only one), while the "right of vengeance" is very much a Native American concept. The most obviously "Viking" element to Klingon culture is Stovokor, which is basically Valhalla in fancy dress.

parallaxicality
2006-Jun-09, 05:48 PM
The greatest alien ever?

How about a bowl of petunias?

Technically, Agrajag wasn't an alien per se, as he was a human in many of his incarnations.

Doodler
2006-Jun-09, 05:56 PM
If I had to pick a culture, I'd go with Vulcans, as they've been portrayed in the novels. The movies and series can go with the emotionless logicbots all they want, but the way Vulcans have been novelized is much deeper and a lot more multidimensional.

The only inconsistency with Vulcans I've never seen properly addressed is...

How do you sustain a large vegetarian culture on a desert planet? :think:

Ara Pacis
2006-Jun-09, 08:19 PM
How do you sustain a large vegetarian culture on a desert planet? :think:

easier than they would sustain a carnivorous culture.

Launch window
2006-Jul-18, 01:35 PM
The Thing (1982) had many things going for it. Effective but simple music soundtrack, a good cast, the outside scenes gave you the feeling that it was in the Antarctic and the interior shots had a claustrophobic effect. Also the whole story isn't spelled for you, in that, was the Thing the owner of the alien ship or possibly did the owner crash the ship because the Thing was trying to absorb/assume the ship's occupents? This movie's ending I liked because you really don't know if the horror is over. One of the best aliens by far.


I agree it's a fantastic movie and largely under-rated, it's one of the few time a remake is better than the original film

BigDon
2006-Jul-18, 09:24 PM
Loved John Carpenter's the Thing myself.

Another good alien monstrous race was Christopher Rowley's The Vang. They were the original "Flood" ala Halo. Parasitic and monsterous. They first appeared in his book "The Starhammer" as minor bit characters then got their own book in The Vang:The Military Form, followed by at least one sequel.

As far as science fiction super weapons go I could never decide which was more formidable. The Starhammer, which for a few seconds suspends the forces of gravity in the core of a star, thereby causing it to effectively "nova" or Alan Dean Foster's The Tar-Aiym Krang (described by Foster as the ultimate weapon and musical instrument) which allows one to generate a small black hole anywhere one has the co-ordinants to. I suppose the Starhammer was the more dangerous of the two as you didn't need a "Class A" mind to operate it. So any ol' smoe could work it.

parallaxicality
2006-Jul-18, 09:32 PM
I always found "The Thing" rather contradictory. If, as it appeared, the creature was of sufficient intelligence to build an interstellar craft (out of helicopter parts!) why did it act like a mindless monster bent only on its own survival?

Roy Batty
2006-Jul-18, 10:51 PM
Interstellar? How it originally arrived on Earth sure, but I think that small saucer thing was just to get it off Antarctica to ensure it's own survival. It needed a warmer climate & more living organisms to do so. Intelligence doesn't mean they have to like us. By that criteria Aliens & Predators would be pretty mindless (well, together in that film maybe, but I digress :D).

BigDon
2006-Jul-18, 11:45 PM
I always found "The Thing" rather contradictory. If, as it appeared, the creature was of sufficient intelligence to build an interstellar craft (out of helicopter parts!) why did it act like a mindless monster bent only on its own survival?

Ever see people bent on their own survival? They can be pretty mindless as well.

Launch window
2006-Dec-24, 08:19 AM
The Blob was pretty neat too. Killer Jell-O. Oh yeah, The Predator was cool too. Not quite as scary as the Aliens though.

yeah the Blob was a good movie

greenfeather
2006-Dec-25, 04:02 PM
There have been some pretty good FX for alien species on sci-fi TV shows, and many alien races in movies and books

So what do you think was the best one ?

Are you talking about visual effects or just unique ideas?
I loved the Jovians and their 'symbiauts' in "Wheelers". Any sort of Jovian is cool.

I haven't seen a lot of non carbon-based, non-earthlike aliens.