The War of The Worlds by H.G. Wells is perhaps one of the most well known science fiction novels about alien contact, but certainly not the only one. Even before mankind has set foot in outer space, writers have been speculating about what might be waiting there for us. Some envisioned benevolent aliens who welcome humanity or are interested in offering assistance while others, like Wells, pictured them to be slightly less friendly. It is a topic that fascinates science fiction authors to this day, but you don’t need to buy a new book to read about alien encounters. Here are just 5 free ebooks from the classic era of science fiction that deals with first contact.
by Murray Leinster
The Aliens was written by Murray Leinster, which was a nom de plume for the well known science fiction author, William Fitzgerald Jenkins. The story explores what would happen if humanity began expanding through the galaxy, while knowing that there was an alien race out there doing the same. These aliens, called “Plumies” by humans, have never been seen, but some of their artifacts have been found on planets explored by humans. However, a chance encounter in interplanetary space finally results in first contact.
by Al Sevcik
Earth finds itself in a bit of a predicament with rumors of an incoming hostile alien fleet. However, as luck would have it, another group of aliens arrives and offer to save thousands of children. The only question is, can these new aliens be trusted despite their cute appearance or is the offer just too good to be true? Alien Offer was published in 1959 and offers a unique take on the alien invasion trope.
by Gordon Randall Garrett
Anything You Can Do is another first contact tale with a rather unique perspective. This time, the alien in question doesn’t actually invade the planet, but lands here. However, it is large, fast, caterpillar shaped and seemingly has a taste for eating humans, so peaceful contact is out of the question. One would think that the top priority of those in charge would be killing the alien, but instead they are far more interested in studying it.
by Winston K. Marks
In Backlash by Winston K. Marks, the aliens arrive not as invaders, but as immigrants from Sirius. Only fifty-six of them arrived on Earth and were provided with asylum after demonstrating how eager they are to please humanity. They also don’t arrive empty handed, but bring with them the technology for robot servants. These robots quickly become a sensation on Earth, but are the aliens really as harmless as they appear?
by James E. Gunn
Usually first contact occurs when aliens invade Earth or when humans encounter them during space travel. However, in Breaking Point by James E. Gunn, it is the humans who arrive on an alien planet aboard an exploration ship. They then discover that not only is the planet inhabited, but the inhabitants appear to know where the humans are from. Unfortunately, the crew finds themselves stuck in their ship when the door won’t open and to make matters worse the aliens might not be as welcoming as they first seemed.