Science fantasy worldbuilding in Phoenix 4: Close encounters

Close Encounters

Introduction

If you ever find yourself as the protagonist in a science-fantasy story, chances are that at some point you will come across an alien. Creatures from another planet can come in all shapes and sizes; some may be fierce and intimidating, others playful or cute, and introducing them can be one of the most exciting aspects of the genre.

Let’s meet the aliens in Phoenix, when Lucky comes across a group of men attacking one:

He edged a little closer to see what they were attacking.

Then it roared and reared up on its hind legs, scattering the men –

– and Lucky saw horns, great curving horns, pointing up at the sky –

– and his stomach turned to liquid. His blood ran cold.

Because it was an Alien. The first he’d ever seen in real life.

It was a young male, and he was big. He was way bigger than Lucky. He was as big as the biggest man in the crowd. He was muscular, too: a solid wall of muscle, hulking and roaring under the lights, like a nightmare come to life.

He was dressed in a strange coat that looked like it was made of liquid metal, billowing behind him like wings. His flaming eyes were covered by mirrorshades, but Lucky could see cloven hooves protruding from the bottom of his coat: massive black hooves that could crush a Human head.

PhoenixS.F. SaidSource

From this description we gain an understanding of not just the physical description of the Alien, but how Lucky feels about them, with emotive responses. Our own perceptions are shaped through his impressions.

What judgmental and evocative language tells us this is a thing to be feared?

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