Science fiction author F. Brett Cox has explored the UFO phenomenon in short stories such as “It Came From Heaven” and “The Sexual Component of Alien Abduction,” which appears in his recent book The End of All Our Exploration. But as much as he loves UFO stories, he’s a firm skeptic when it comes to the idea of alien visitors.
“If you talk about‘ UFOs ’as‘ unidentified flying objects ’, if you ask,‘ Is there a UFO? “so sure there are,” Cox says in episode 470 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “There are still those five percent of registered cases over the years that can’t be explained. But if you then ask, ‘Are these UFO alien visitors?’ My answer is ‘almost certainly not.’
Cox has spent decades accumulating a significant library of books on UFO-related phenomena, e.g. Lemuria: The lost continent of the Pacific. “I’m fascinated by the UFO subculture,” he says, “just about all the equipment that goes with it, and the history – especially in this country – of the UFO phenomenon, and the people who are associated with it. So I’ve always been deeply interested in this. ”
As a child, Cox was involved in science fiction fanzines, and once received a letter from him Richard Shaver, whose “Shaver Mystery” stories helped start the UFO craze. The letter contains portraits of rocks that Shaver said were evidence of a sinister underground civilization called Deros. “Even at 15, I thought, ‘Well, that’s weird,'” Cox says. “And that was the breadth of my correspondence with Richard Shaver because — wise beyond my years — I didn’t write back.”
Cox has also been working on a novel about UFO abduction, but says the events of January 6th they have made writing about conspiracy theories more complicated.
“There is a line to be drawn between aspects of the UFO community and QAnon, and darker, more toxic levels of conspiracy, “he says.” So it forced me to rethink things. I’m not saying I’ll never return to this particular writing project, but I’ll have to think differently when I do it. “
Listen to the full interview with F. Brett Cox in Episode 470 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.
F. Brett Cox on his novel “A Bend in the Air”:
“I was asked to write a story for this anthology.” Portals, which was stories [magical] portal, and I had – some time ago – written the beginning of a story that was informed by my reading for [Roger Zelazny: Modern Masters of Science Fiction], just to try something different, and I could never really understand what kind of story I needed to go with it. But then when I got the job of writing a story on the portals, that helped it fall into place. … The only place I’ve done a bit of slack — a little indulgent — is that there’s a scene in the story where the protagonist is sent on a search, and it’s just a few steps away, then the authorities send him out to do this without a horse, and he exclaims, “Why can’t I have a horse?” And frankly, I was writing the story, and I didn’t know much about horses, and I thought, ‘I don’t really have the time to research this if I want to get this in time. Hey, he can walk. ‘So it was a pure convenience on my part.’
F. Brett Cox on his novel “The End of All Our Exploration”:
“It’s a post-pandemic story, and it’s also about a couple who are estranged, and one of them wants to reunite in this post-pandemic world, and there’s a conspiracy theory that persists at the bottom of the story on China’s role in the virus.Now in history, I’ve had it like a mosquito, not a virus in the air.When [Covid-19 happened] all I could think about was, ‘Oh great, for once in my life I’m a sci-fi predictor, and this is that what i come for Wonderful. ‘… I will quote that not as proof of my prognostic powers, because there is nothing, but I will say that such things happen in science-fiction stories — if you are careful, if you have any sense of general trends in the your present day, you can solve it in such a scenario. “
F. Brett Cox on University of Norwich:
“I teach at the University of Norwich, which is a historically military college – it’s actually the oldest private military college in the United States. The vast majority of students are in the cadet corps for school, and are in military uniforms, and all full-time, hold-track faculties are required to be in military uniform as well, and are assigned a military rank. proportional to — or at least in some way associated with — our academic rank, then my military rank corresponding to my full professorship is lieutenant colonel. And that’s in the Vermont State Militia system, which is basically the Norwich faculty. … So if New Hampshire invades, we are the first line of defense. ”
F. Brett Cox on Andy Duncan:
“On two consecutive days after [short story collection] out there, I had two different people here among my friends in Vermont — one in the faculty of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, the other of whom is a friend of ours in the theater community – let’s say independently of each other – two different, twice different places – they both said, “I read your book, I really like it, the stories are good, but [Andy’s] introduction, oh God, it’s wonderful! It was so great, I really enjoyed it. ‘So I’m happy to point out that Andy’s introduction is perhaps a bigger hit than the stories in the book, which goes well. I appreciate you doing that. … Andy not only went to the pot, but threw it out of the park, and I gratefully accepted it. ”
More Great Stories WIRED