When They Come from Space

Mark Clifton
When They Come from Space Cover

When They Come from Space


A humorous, cynical near-history novel about the first contact between the newly spacefaring Earthlings and the Galactic Civilization leaders, who come to see what the humans represent in terms of risk and reward.

The story is old essentially as a memior and written from a strongly right-libertarian viewpoint, with all the expected cliches about oppressive, dysfunctional government, venal media and human lust for power over others. While the humans exhibit all of the failings which right-libertarians decry, the Galactic Civilization is truly enlightened by the belief that everyone should be allowed to live, work and act as they want.

The story, written a year before the author's death. still seems to ring true because of this emphasis on government dysfunction and media manimpulation, issues prevalent today. There are the expected obsolete technology references, but they are trivial and do not impair the story.