Nature Future Conditional

The story behind the story: A picture is worth

This week Beth Cato returns to Futures with A picture is worth. Regular readers will know Beth’s work well, as well as writing several Futures stories (details at the foot of this post), she has also written the Clockwork Dagger duology and the Blood of Earth trilogy. You can find out more about her work at her website or by following  her on Twitter. Here, she reveals what inspired her latest tale — as ever, it pays to read the story first.

Writing A picture is worth

Like so many science-fiction authors, I enjoy playing with ‘what ifs’ about alien life. In this story, I wanted to take on an alien point-of-view, with humans as the accidental aggressor.

To me, that feels more plausible than a flying saucer landing somewhere and requesting, “Take me to your leader.” Because let’s be honest: here on Earth, we don’t exactly have a good track record when it comes to meeting other cultures of our own kind for the first time (or the thousandth-plus time). We make assumptions. We judge. We dismiss. We obliterate — both on purpose and by accident.

I can very well see the same thing occurring when we meet extraterrestrial for the first time … and we might not even be aware of the catastrophe we’ve caused until it’s too late. And, as Klatok’s viewpoint demonstrates, we may very well deserve what’s coming.

Read more Futures stories by Beth:

The 133rd Live Podcast of the Gourmando Resistance | Powers of observationExcerpts from the 100-day food diary of Angela MeyerThe human is late to feed the catBread of lifePost-apocalyptic conversations with a sidewalkCanopy of skulls


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