Space aliens visit earth to experience emotions
July 2, 2010 10:41 AM   Subscribe

About a month ago I heard a partial interview with a short story author (male) and one of the stories was about aliens who come to Earth to experience emotions by inhabiting our bodies. They vacation here because our life span is very short compared to theirs. They were very,very tall on their planet. This story has been stuck in my mind. I emailed NPR and they couldn't figure it out either. Help!
posted by wennagain to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Cory Doctorow's 'I, Rowboat' has some of these aspects, but it wasn't aliens so much as sentiences (is that the word I'm looking for) who would be downloaded into human 'shells' temporarily for a 'vacation'-like experience.
posted by jferg at 11:17 AM on July 2, 2010

There was a story in Sum by David Eagleman that reminds me of this. I've heard a few bits of this book read on NPR, too. The creatures are multidimensional (not tall) but it's otherwise as you describe.
posted by Knicke at 11:18 AM on July 2, 2010

Ooh, actually they ARE tall as well as multidimensional! Here's the Google Books excerpt. It contains the whole super-super-super short story (more of a vignette, really).
posted by Knicke at 11:26 AM on July 2, 2010

It sounds as if Knicke has it, but as a separate data point, there's Terry Bisson's "They're Made of Meat" (short online film adaptation).
posted by WCityMike at 11:45 AM on July 2, 2010

Knicke's right. The story was read on Wiretap
posted by malp at 12:32 PM on July 2, 2010

Glad you found the one you were interested in. Fred Pohl has an older story in this vein called "Enjoy, Enjoy."
posted by kindall at 2:54 PM on July 2, 2010

Also sounds a bit like Chip Delany's The Einstein Intersection, but that's a novel.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 3:01 PM on July 2, 2010

Thank you all for such fast responses. I joined Mefi after lurking for years just to ask this question. I knew you guys could do it! Finally I can rest. Thanks!
posted by wennagain at 8:18 PM on July 2, 2010

Agreed, sounds like one of the afterlives in Sum which I'm reading now (because of hearing about it on a recent episode of "To The Best of Our Knowledge") and enjoying a lot.
posted by Rash at 11:01 PM on July 2, 2010

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