They’re Here!

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“Where is everybody?” Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi once asked after a discussion about the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. To sum up the Fermi Paradox, if the billions of stars in our galaxy have planets with intelligent life on them, why hasn’t anyone visited us?

But maybe they have, and we just haven’t noticed—and that’s the way they want it. And if they are here in secret, why are they here? Are they tourists? Anthropologists, perhaps? Or journalists sending stories back about the quaint habits of the primitives? Or maybe the extraterrestrial equivalent of hunters or fishermen? (Any odd disappearances in your neighborhood lately?) An enemy already within the gates? Or a refugee seeking sanctuary? Gourmets looking for exotic foreign food? Alien criminals hiding out? Alien cops looking for those alien criminals? No missionaries—at least not yet—and there doesn’t seem to be a Galactic Peace Corps. They might happen to look close enough to human to pass, or they might be masters of disguise. Or they might be so incomprehensibly different that we don’t even notice that they’re here.

The secret visitors are revealed by such luminaries as Larry Niven, Poul Anderson, Spider Robinson, William Tenn, and more. And if any alien visitors want to check out the local natives’ speculations herein, feel free. Please pay with local currency, of course.

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