Aliens invading earth has been a classic sci-fi theme since the very beginning of the genre. There have been countless books, movies, and television shows that depict everything from a peaceful cohabitation (Star Trek, Mass Effect), to living in secret among us (I am Number Four, Roswell), and the almost total annihilation or rule of Earth (Independence Day, V, War of the Worlds). And with Independence Day: Resurgence arriving in theaters this Friday, alien invasions are back, front and center, in the media.
But what would we really do if we were suddenly invaded by an alien race, hostile or not? The following books provide good advice and strategies or words of warning to help identify, prevent, and defeat a possible invasion of Earth.
The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
This is the classic alien invasion story, one that caused actual panic and fear in the 1930s when it was broadcast over the radio and people thought it was really happening. While this book showed that the aliens were a lot more technologically advanced than humans were, it’s also credited with showing us that aliens tend to extremely susceptible to human viruses and bacteria. And while it’s not the most sophisticated method, it’s nice to know that simple cold might do the trick in taking them out.
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
In this quirky and off the wall children’s book, Tip befriends J.Lo, one of the invading aliens, while on a strange road trip to relocate per the alien’s orders. And when a more evil group of aliens attacks, this friendship comes in handy as Tip and J.Lo have to band together to save the world. When aliens invade it’s good to keep in mind that there may be something worse out there, and it can never hurt to try and make friends with someone from the first group that arrives. You never know when that friendship may come in handy.
The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey
The aliens invade Earth in waves some of which include killing the electricity, creating tsunamis that devastate coastal populations, and infecting the population with disease. This proves that aliens have been studying us and know exactly what will hit us where it hurts the most. In a case like the invasion in this book, it’s handy to have alternate forms of energy set up, as well as a means to sustain ourselves in case we are cut off from the rest of the population.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
While I don’t necessarily condone sending children off to fight the war against aliens for us, Ender’s Game idea of using video games as a way to train children to fight the aliens is one we can absolutely use. If humanity isn’t good enough to win against a superior race, we’ll just have to train ourselves to be good enough. 155 million Americans regularly play video games, that’s quite a lot of people that could have the necessary hand eye coordination to lead an attack against invading aliens. We’ll just need to find the one who has the right mind for strategy and we’ll win in no time.
Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
In this novel the alien race starts out as peaceful Overlords, helping to minimize conflict on Earth by supervising international affairs, but for the most part they stay out of the way. However, it eventually becomes clear that culture is stagnating and humanity is on the verge of becoming extinct. This serves as a warning that peaceful intentions may not be all that they same, and it’s a good idea to stay vigilant in the face of an alien race joining us on our planet.
The Host by Stephenie Meyer and I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
In both of these novels aliens don’t look at all like what we’d expect, instead they look exactly like us. In the case of The Host a parasitic alien race has taken over the bodies of humans, while in I Am Number Four the good aliens look totally human on the outside, with their legacies being the only thing giving them away as aliens. So if your friend’s personality changes overnight or they’re suddenly able to shoot fire from their hands, we might be on the verge of an alien invasion.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
While the aliens did manage to destroy the Earth in this book, this book still teaches us one of the most important lessons in the galaxy: always carry a towel. Using his towel enabled Arthur Dent to hitch a ride on a passing spaceship right before the Earth was blown to smithereens. That piece of advice may not have saved the entire human race, but you might have a chance of saving your own life if you follow it.