By Berinn Rae, author of Collision and Implosion
Readers have long been fascinated with vampires and werewolves. These creatures have been a staple of the paranormal romance genre since term “paranormal romance” was coined. They are the subjects of legend, but there is another one found in even older legends and one that persists to this day. Aliens.
Nearly every ancient civilization has some link to the belief that we are not alone in the universe. Many ancient races, such as the Egyptians, pondered life among the stars. Some races, like the Sumerians, went so far as to believe their gods came down from the stars. To this day, some believe the Mayans gained their science from aliens.
Intrigued by millennia of inferences and postulations, I thought, “What if aliens came to earth during our lifetimes?” and so the Colliding Worlds trilogy was born.
Beyond our world lies the unknown. Countless planets with endless possibilities. On one of those worlds, many galaxies from our home, an epic war has started a chain reaction, sending the war on a collision course with Earth. In the bloody aftermath of the Noble War of Sephia, the conquered Draeken flee, and the triumphant Sephians give pursuit. The first habitable planet in their path is a small, temperate planet called…earth. We are no longer alone.
The Colliding Worlds trilogy isn’t the first series to start with an alien invasion, and it won’t certainly be the last (unless of course aliens do invade us tomorrow and life ends as we know it). What would we do if an advanced people suddenly landed on our proverbial doorstep? Would we welcome our guests with open arms? Would we attack on sight? I suspect the answer lays somewhere in between.
Perhaps one of the best outcomes of human-like aliens coming to earth would be that we’d be forced to reexamine what it means to be truly human. In the V television and book series, for example, the aliens who came to earth looked very different and had ulterior motives. But some of the Visitors had very human attributes, such as love and sacrifice. Did that make them human? Probably not, but what if they had looked more human? What then?
The aliens in the Colliding Worlds trilogy aren’t lizards, like the Visitors were in V, though their anatomy differs from ours. The golden-skinned Sephians have tattoo-like marks covering their bodies. The Draeken have wings. Biologically, we are compatible with both the Sephians and the Draeken, and much of the trilogy is focused on coming to terms with embracing similarities and coming to terms with differences. Stereotypes, discrimination, and profiling abound.
All three books in the trilogy propose that being human isn’t about how someone looks or where they were born. But that to be human is to have compassion.
What do you believe it is to be human?