The Fermi Paradox, the reader is told, is resolved when aliens hijack Tinder. Most people assumed the odd profiles were a joke. However, one lonely girl in a Scottish suburb made a connection. Her date could have passed for human even with his rows of sharp teeth were it not for the cone on his head. Unfortunately, he liked the whiskey more than he liked her. Under his unsteady hand, his ship zigzagged around, unable at first to even hit the stratosphere. The authorities noticed, and the jig was up.
“And that’s how I ended up here,” the narrator says, “strapped to a vertical bed and waiting for a squid-like nurse to inject me with something that’ll put me to sleep for the next two years.” He will wake up on Pluto, where he will meet Tricia McMillan (that is not her name), a Scorpia with glossy green tentacles in her hair and bright red eyes. He is in love and doesn’t hear a slip of the tongue.
The author gives the reader quite a few references points. The Fermi Paradox, for example, is the idea, articulated by physicist Enrico Fermi, there are many suns in the universe like ours. Conceivably, they have planets around them, and some would be like earth. Those other earths could conceivable have live on them. Why haven’t we heard from them? “Where are they?” he is supposed to have asked.
Tricia McMillan is a character in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, who is better known as Trillian.
There is a great deal of humor in this tale. It is fun to think of an alien leaving a date that didn’t turn out well drunk, driving his spaceship badly and, drawing the attention of the law. It does not take place in the story, but the reader can picture him looking in his rearview mirror and swearing at the flashing red lights.
When things get serious, the reader pictures a young man in love, willing to undergo a lot to meet a young lady. He is going to sleep for two years for a date.
I enjoyed this story.
According to her bio notes, author Irene Montaner was born on Tenerife. She earned a degree in mathematics, and “she has put her degree to good use by writing speculative fiction.” She currently lives in Switzerland. Her fiction has appeared in 365 Tomorrows and Every Day Fiction.
The story can be read here.
Title: “Leaving Earth for Love”
Author: Irene Montaner
First published: Daily Science Fiction, November 19, 2018