Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Associate Editor


Remy’s Town
by Megan Neumann

by Andrew Hook

Her Robot Babies
by Brent Knowles

Beyond the Reach of Proof
by Seth W. Kennedy

Here Is a Fighter
by Eric Del Carlo

Invasive Species
by Kurt Heinrich Hyatt

Deciphering an ET Opening Screen
by Marilyn K. Martin

I Once Was Lost
by Edward Morris

by Melanie Rees

Respect of Headwaiters
by Tais Teng

Toy Soldier
by Leon Chan


A Case Against Saucers
by John McCormick

Atomic Light Bulbs
by Popular Mechanics




Shorter Stories

Comic Strips





We Are Not Invited

TV’S DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAY have “Shark Week.” Here at “Perihelion” we have “Saucer Summer,” exploring flying saucers, UFOs, and other things that go bump in the night. Last month we presented an article by noted UFO authority Preston Dennett that discussed the unusually high number of sightings over mines. This month, Science Editor John McCormick makes a compelling case against the existence of flying saucers in our skies and over our dairy cattle. Next month, Associate Editor Eric M. Jones will have his say on the matter.

So let me give you my two cents. I happen to agree with McCormick that UFOs are quite real. But that is because a UFO is nothing more than what the acronym stands for: an object flying around in the sky that is unidentified. I’ve seen them myself. Usually, when they become identified, they turn out to be nothing more menacing than escaped party balloons, or ordinary aircraft lit unusually by the sun. I’ve also seen my share of things that I have never been able to satisfactorily identify. For that matter, I’ve seen plenty of things on the ground and even in my own basement that I’ve never been able to identify. Doesn’t mean strange visitors from another planet are lurking about. Mainly it just means I need new glasses.

Flying saucers could exist, however; probably do. It is estimated that there are around 300 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone. “The primary way astronomers estimate stars in a galaxy is by determining the galaxy’s mass. The mass is estimated by looking at how the galaxy rotates, as well as its spectrum using spectroscopy,” according to an excellent article at

Almost assuredly most of these stars have planets orbiting around them. We are not unique, contrary to the lunatic ravings of creationist wingnut Ken Ham. Even if one one-hundredth of all these stars have planets, that’s one helluva lot of planets. But you’ve read all this before. The upshot being that our galaxy is chock full of life, a percentage sentient, a percentage of that percentage intelligent. We have our own flying saucers; the Germans were allegedly working on flying saucers during World War II. So it takes no stretch of the imagination to conclude that intelligent, advanced civilizations on other planets have their own disk-shaped aircraft.

The trouble is that it would take millennia, even if you could travel at the speed of light, which may be a physical impossibility in our universe, to visit Earth. We’re out in the boondocks, you see. Probably not worth the trip to watch us humans waste an incalculable percentage of our resources and brainpower figuring out new and more effective ways to kill ourselves.

I say no, then. No flying saucers piloted by little green, gray, or gill-equipped men and women in our environs. I’ve often speculated, however, that there are likely regions in our galaxy where life-bearing planets huddle a little closer together. Maybe out by Andromeda, or within star clusters we haven’t even named as yet, you will find a “Star Trek” or “Star Wars” scenario. Scaly creatures in tunics rocketing to distant space stations to trade with furry giants. They don’t know that Earth exists and they could probably care less. If somebody suggested that they make a multi-generational trip to carve perfect circles in cornfields or practice proctological procedures on pastoral Earthlings, they’d laugh like Denebrian slime devils drunk on Regalian cider.

We have been doing our best to make our presence known. We’ve been broadcasting radio and TV signals for decades. We have sent space probes beyond our solar system. These are shots in the dark matter. The odds are stacked well against us, but, slim as the chances are, some alien civilization may notice us. Then what?

Some very esteemed cosmologists have warned that calling attention to ourselves could attract the wrong crowd. Alien species looking for new planets to conquer, subjugate, or cultivate for food. Humans are, after all, mostly meat. I’malien not entirely sure this is a valid prediction. That distance conundrum again. Imagine if we found tasty crustacean-like creatures on Mars. Good news for Martian colonists who wouldn’t have to import comestibles from Mother Earth, not that a supply route was ever a consideration. We’ve realized from the outset that any settlements on Mars would need to be self-sustaining. But this caveat works both ways. Getting those blue plate specials back to Earth would likely price them out of range for the average working stiff, perhaps even the average millionaire, as well. And Mars is a mere hop, skip, and jump away. Eating humans, for any space-faring species other than our own, would be egregiously uneconomical. Long pig is off the interstellar menu.

The only way we are going to hook-up with strange new worlds or new civilizations, now or in the foreseeable future, is through a wormhole. If there was a wormhole in the vicinity now, I think we’d have seen it already. But a wormhole could pop-up tomorrow, next century, or in a thousand years. All is not lost in space!

My biggest argument against space aliens among us is, however, a reflection of our own behavior. Supposing we were to be the advanced population discovering intelligent life on another planet. Would we skulk around in the shadows, leaving mysterious clues to our presence? Would we quietly abduct inconsequential native individuals to explore their anatomy, returning them in as unharmed condition as possible to their sleeping quarters when finished? Of course not. We’d be all over the place as loud and as celebratory as possible. “Wow! We’re here! Greetings! Take us to your leaders!” Humans have a distinct history of not being bashful or unassuming when interacting with new peoples. I don’t think aliens in their flying saucers would be any less the life of the party.

Sam Bellotto Jr.




gort & robby