A Touch of Futuristic Humor

Most everything Mr. Valentine writes includes touches of 1) love and 2) humor.

SFR Brigade Presents

Click the pic to see more great samples from new and upcoming SFRom books.

The love element may provide a character’s motivation (it’s one of the most powerful human emotions, after all), or it may be the focus of the story, as in my early Silhouette romances.

The humor element … well, it just keeps creeping in. I can’t seem to help myself.

Disagreements between humans and intelligent aliens could lead to disaster–but they can also lead to humor. Here’s an example from my upcoming release, The Tribulations of Tompa Lee.

Background: Tompa Lee, science fiction’s greatest underdog, became the human ambassador to planet Zee Shode almost by accident. Now she is meeting with an important visitor from the Galactic Trading Council, who has the power to save–or destroy–mankind’s fragile presence on the planet.

Enough background already!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 “Please forgive me, Ambassador Lee,” said the four-foot tall caterpillar. “I am young, inexperienced, and apprehensive, as this is my first off-planet mission.”

“Me too.” Tompa sniffed, wishing she had a handkerchief. Tears and snot running down her face would not be correct protocol. “Young and inexperienced and in space for the first time, I mean. And it’s not your fault. To make myself less nervous I was—”

Don’t say it!

“—trying to imagine what you looked like naked.”

Oh, maggots and cockroaches. She’d said it.

The Detchvilli screeched. Tompa leap to her feet and cast her eyes toward the nearest exit.

“My profound apologies,” he said. “In order to converse with humans, I must plan several words ahead, like a human playing chess. That was a burst of surprise and pleasure, and not, as you obviously feared, a threat.”

Tompa sat. To read his expression, she realized, you had to ignore his face and watch his tentacles, which were suddenly loose and graceful.

He waved a tentacle in an oval. “Humans, and especially planetary ambassadors, are usually insufferably punctilious. I must compliment your superiors on choosing an ambassador for her affinity with other species, rather than for mere business acumen.”

Tompa grinned through her tears.

“And now,” he said, “you and I must disrobe.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don’t forget to check out other great excerpts from similar books at the SFR Brigade Presents.

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9 comments

  1. Trying to figure out how an alien mind works can be fascinating.

    1. I agree, Sue Ann. I like to examine the assumptions that we might make and then turn them on their heads. (And that works with a lot of human characters, too!)

  2. Heidi Ruby Miller · · Reply

    You’re right–it’s funny!

    I am completely intrigued, Ed. Like Sue Ann, I enjoy alien encounter stories. Looking forward to more.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Heidi!

  3. Wow, the way this ended was a surprise inagoodway – really a fun excerpt!

    1. Have no fear, Veronica, Tompa doesn’t end up taking anything off–but the alien does.

  4. I wasn’t expecting the caterpillar! 🙂 In Star Trek the Universal Translator always seems to seamlessly translate everything without mistakes. But translating words in your head as you go along, and trying to get the context right, can lead to a few misunderstandings!

    1. Yeah, no translating device can possibly translate unspoken assumptions.

  5. […] Last week you read about Tompa’s meeting with an important alien visitor: a Detchvilli who has chosen the name Sir Charles for his dealings with humans. Detchvilli’s adore human music, and he has brought his woodwind quintet to the embassy in order to entertain Tompa and the other humans. […]

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