Sunday, September 11, 2016

Science in Fiction (#20): United by Melissa Landers

Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm featuring United by Melissa Landers!

I actually have not read United yet, but I wanted to feature the book at some point. I've not read any science novel in the past month (boo!), so I'm featuring one that I will be reading in the future. This series deals with space colonization and other species similar to humans. Aelyx is from another planet called L’eihr; he and his kind look like humans, but are more advanced.

Today, my topic is alien human-like species!

I've talked extensively about terraforming, colonization of other planets, and life on other planets. I've probably touched upon aliens and whatnot, but I thought it'd be cool to explore the idea of human-like species that are not quite human. 

Obviously there have been no discoveries of such species (yet?). There are no human-like creatures, or even little green aliens. So there isn't going to be a lot of concrete fact in this post.

But how neat would it be to encounter aliens, and other life forms that could communicate with us? Like, in Star Wars. There are a number of characters that aren't human but can communicate and live with humans.

You get the idea. Obviously there are a multitude of advantages and problems with encountering other life forms that could communicate with us. Competition, power, greed... honestly, humans are scary enough on our own. BUT, just like we strive to learn more about other cultures, learning more about other species and their cultures would be interesting... right?

How about more advanced human species? In the Alienated series, Aelyx comes from a species that is more advanced than humans. Think about the ways in which humans could advance. We could:

- Expand our intelligence and memory. (Like, to the point of us seeming like robots. If we're not already there yet?)
- Develop impossible abilities like telepathy or telekinesis. (Who even knows!)
- Learn to survive off things that don't seem like we could survive off them. (Meaning, our bodies would change. I could see humans developing food and pills and nutrients in different forms, and eventually, our body might not need certain types of sustenance anymore. I could see that happening.)

Like I said, not the most hardcore factual scientific post, but it definitely gives you something to think about. Would you like to interact with other species? Do you think it could happen? Could you see the human race advancing to the point of being "superhuman"?


  1. I love your science in fiction series, but I almost didn't read this one because I haven't read this final book in the series yet. But then I saw your comment about not having read it yet either, and so I went ahead and read on! It seems like aliens, intelligent life forms especially, would have to have some similarities to humans. Like brains for example. To be able to design and build things, I would think that is something necessary. I mean you don't see any other animals doing that. I would love to meet other species from other planets, or even just observe ones that may be more like our animals than like intelligent, sentient beings. Fun post!

    1. Nope, I have not read it yet! It's high on my to-read post-pub list.

      That's definitely one of the biggest things that sets humans apart, the ability to design and build. I would love to observe a species even more advanced than humans!

      Thank you, Lisa!

  2. Don't know about us becoming superhuman (like telekinesis or telepathy, though that would be very cool), and I think it's interesting that we haven't seen any aliens or (I think) evidence of same in our attempts at space exploration. But it would be kind of awesome to live in a Star Wars-like universe with "lightspeed" travel and tons of inhabitable planets and moons and Ewoks! Maybe without the Sith Lords and JarJar. ;)

    1. DUDE. I would be SO on board with living in a Star-Wars-esque world. Maybe I really just want my own lightsaber. ;D Ewoks would be great too!

  3. I like the idea of other races out there somewhere, but I would also be worried that first encounters wouldn't be with friendly types.
    I had a teacher that always told us we weren't using, but a fraction of our brain power and it made me wonder what we could achieve as people if we did. :)

    1. Right - that's a concern of mine too! Especially if the species are more advanced than humans.

      I've heard that about the brain, that we used like 10% of it? I'm 99% sure that's a myth, but it would be neat!

  4. I only read Alienated! I seriously need to read the other two books. I loved Aelyx so freaking so much! I'll have to re-read the first book.
    Being a Christian and following the Bible and all that, I know there are planets out there with..let's say species because Idk for a fact what they are. Point is, there are planets with living things. But those planets are actually perfect. Think of a world with no killing, no danger. It's all peaceful. And those planets the human will never explore. God has seen to that so that we don't taint them.

    How advanced technology is, who knows what could happen with the human being. I mean, there are drugs that exist that get you to have strength above normal so who knows what else science could create.
    Genesis | Latte Nights Reviews

    1. It would be really cool if we could encounter other living creatures! But it would also be good if we didn't destroy everything we touch, being the humans that we are. :D

  5. Like you say, it's hard to come up with a lot of purely scientific facts on this subject, but it sure is interesting to think about! I love the idea of other beings out there and how they might be more (or less) advanced than us. It's food for the imagination.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  6. Lovely science post Alyssa :D Thank you for sharing sweet girl. <3 I still haven't read United either. Sobs. Soooonish :D But ee, I love reading about aliens, haha. But I'm not sure I would ever want them to be real. Hmm.

    1. We need to get on that! In my case, I haven't even bought a copy yet. I need the paperback to match my set!

      Girl, me either!


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