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Alien Beings and Races


I have only recently posted and I have not really participated in a forum for years but I am just going to throw this idea for discussion.

Classic/Tolkien Fantasy tends to involve three kinds of races: Humans, Elves, Dwarfs. Other franchises like Dragon Age have variations like the Quanri for example or having the emphasis on Urban Elves versus the rural ones. What a lot of fantasy has in common is that the world is self-contained and that there is little interaction with the world outside the one of the story. There are mystical realms but they are still within the context of that world and not of an alien one.

In a potential story, could you see alien beings being a neat idea to put into a fantasy story?


This isn't as strange an idea as you might think. I actually wrote a medieval-ish fantasy story where most of the races the story revolved around were 'alien' in the context they came from another world. In a nutshell the staple races were being pushed out of their original world by another expansionist race they couldn't stop, so the other races used magic to open a portal to another world. So despite having lived in this new world for thousands of years (when the main story occurs) they are technically aliens.

The word itself would throw me a little. I do perceive "aliens" as being technological, spaceship driving, sci fi characters. But you can change the word. Outsiders perhaps?

Cheers, Greg.
I definately agree this isn't as crazy as you might think. I am also using "aliens" in what can be considered a Science Fantasy novel (SciFan?). I have several semi-elven subspecies that have been seeded throughout the local arm of the galaxy all from roughly the same beginning species (humans included). I guess it's not so heavy into the fantasy as the science fiction, but there is magic to it and a particular dark force that really defies most of our universe's laws, so I guess that's the fantasy of it.


Myth Weaver
Feists original 'Rift War' saga (first four books anyhow) is based on this concept, though the 'aliens' are actually humans.

My fantasy worlds were originally near lifeless orbs 'terra-formed' by aliens who proceeded to use techno-magical gates to bring in other races as workers and test subjects. They also established risky-to-use gates between other worlds, some of which are still usable, though the aliens are mostly long gone.


I think it could work but it all depends on what role they will fill in the story etc. I don't generally support rattling the cage just for the sake of it, but if you think there are goodies outside the cage, break free and find out.


Ever heard of the Warcraft universe ? It thrives on alien invasions: demons, orcs and the draenei are all species from foreign worlds who, at some point in their history, came into contact with Azeroth (warcraft's main planet). Of course, Warcraft's lore has many problems (even I, a man who loves it most deeply, am horrified seeing how simplistic it has become after a while...), but I do not think that involving alien races was one of them.

Go for it. I always loved the idea - just make sure it doesn't transform your story into a SF tale (unless this is what you want).


My WIPs are centred around the interactions between three separate worlds, the primeval artifacts that could end them, and the even older forces that would use them (as well as the humans that are drawn to their power). The two main races have lived alongside each other for 2000 years, but were originally alien to one another. There are other, older races that play a part in the story and they are certainly alien. One of these races is more legendary than fundamentally alien. The other is quite alien, with magic that has never been seen before and a markedly different appearance.

Morgan's A Land Fit for Heroes and Newton's Legends of the Red Sun include very alien interactions that actually drew me to them, though I've had trouble reading Newton's first book. I'd highly recommend R. Scott Bakker's The Second Apocalypse, which is based on a sprawling ancient history where the appearance of two extraterrestrial (possibly interdimensional) races are fundamental to the entire series.

It's not super common but I think it can be used to great effect. For me the execution requires a great deal of mystery.


I think the idea of a high fantasy setting suddenly having a UFO alien invasion is both hilarious and fascinating. Genre contrasts and crossovers are consistently entertaining.