“Alien Offer” is a 1959 science fiction short story by Al Sevcik. It is about an alien fleet who offers to evacuate the world’s children after learning of Earth’s impending doom.
Non-Spoiler Summary In A Nutshell:
General James Rothwell has a huge decision to make, and he’s not too excited about making it. You see, recently the scout ship Leo returned to Earth with some terrible news: a gigantic fleet of hostile aliens is headed towards Earth and will be here shortly. Lucky for us that Commander Aku and his trading fleet happened across Earth, because they have made a generous offer: they will evacuate 100,000 human children to their home world before the invaders arrive. The only problem is that the have some very strict and secretive guidelines for how to go about the evacuation… and that makes General Rothwell very nervous.
Rothwell interrupted. “I know. Five radioactive planets with the fresh scars of cobalt bombs and the remains of civilizations. Then radar screens erupting crazily with signals from a multi-thousand ship space fleet; vector computers hurriedly plotting and re-plotting the fast-moving trajectory, submitting each time an unvarying answer for the fleet’s destination—our own solar system.” He slapped his hand flat against the desk. “The point is, Doc, it’s not much to go on, and we don’t dare send another ship to check for fear of attracting attention to ourselves. If we could only be sure.”
My Two Cents:
• The good:
- This little story really drew me in! I was surprised how involved I became – often thinking of what I myself would do if faced with this situation.
- “Alien Offer” is easy to read and has a plot that is a common theme for short stories from that time: a simple storyline involving a huge moral decision.
• The bad:
- There are a few occurrences of mildly strong language.
• Page Count: 10
• Word Count: 5,137
Where you can find “Alien Offer”:
- This short story first appeared in the January 1959 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories.
- You can download a very nice free version of “Alien Offer” from Project Gutenberg.
Some Interesting Links:
- I had a difficult time finding out anything about the author, Al Sevcik. If you know anything please leave a comment and enlighten us!
- Special thanks to QuasarDragon for pointing out this great story!
Craving More Stories?
If you enjoyed this story then you might also like The Last Command, about an old war machine that is reactivated decades after being buried in a radiation-proof landfill, by Keith Laumer.