CSFF Blog Tour: Residential Aliens

I have a question for you all: What do you think “residential aliens” means? If you say, “Illegal immigrants working as nannies in rich LA neighborhoods,” you’re on the wrong track.

Residential Aliens is an e-zine published by Lyn Perry. I instantly liked the title and instantly did not understand it. I know it sounds like sci-fi (or maybe a suburban comedy – what do you think?). But what, exactly, does it mean?

There’s an explanation on the website’s From the Editor section:

A resident alien is, of course, a foreigner who is residing temporarily in a country not her own – an expatriate of sorts. Believers in heaven (or a “coming new age”) often consider themselves to be simply passing through this world on their way to a better land. The idea is that, although we’re currently inhabitants of earth, we’re really citizens of heaven and thus pilgrims, or aliens, on this planet.

This section is signed by “Your Fellow Alien, Lyn”. So there you have it: “Residential aliens” refers to the editor, and most of his readership, too. Residential Aliens publishes “spiritually infused speculative fiction”. Not all the stories will be explicitly Christian. They will, however, be short. Judging by the Submission Guidelines, most of the stories will be 6K words and under.

Besides the zine, ResAliens boasts a blog and a discussion forum. Becky Miller writes, though, that the “once active Forum” has been replaced by the zine’s accounts on Facebook and Twitter. Of more interest is the editor’s Submission Guidelines. Writers trying to establish themselves may find an opportunity at Residential Aliens, though $5 will get you two mochas at McDonald’s.

But the main point of Residential Aliens is the short fiction. It’s ironic, but the society of Twitter is also the society of the book series. Stand-alone novels seem to get scarcer every year, and short stories have been running low on venues for a long, long time. Residential Aliens is a continual source of original short stories, and that those stories are spiritual SF makes it all the more unique.

In addition to being posted on the website, the issues are available as e-books and print editions. ResAliens has also published four anthologies. To get an idea as to the nature and quality of the stories published by Residential Aliens, I direct you to D. G. D. Davidson. He has a brief review of each story in a past issue. He says that he has read it so we don’t have to; I could say that he has reviewed it so I don’t have to, but honestly, I wasn’t going to, anyway.

As for the links … well, I’ve already posted them. I have gone far beyond my quota in posting links, which may be what comes of touring websites. But here are the principal links, titled this time:


Editor’s Blog

Lyn Perry’s personal blog

And our blog tour:

4 thoughts on “CSFF Blog Tour: Residential Aliens

  1. What an interesting observation that we are at once the society of Twitter and book series. And you’re right — the short story has been all but left behind. I wonder, though, if the ease of publishing ebooks won’t change that. I’ve heard of more and more people putting out their short stories that way.

    I wonder if it isn’t maybe a cyclical event — magazines stopped pubbing short stories, so readers stopped reading them (duh!) and books no longer wanted to publish anthologies. Writers, with no venue for their work, stopped writing short stories. It’s a theory. 😉

    Good post, Shannon.


  2. It’s a good theory. I think it’s very plausible. It’s also interesting to note that, in the 1800s, whole novels were often published as serials in magazines. Some of Dickens’ most famous work was first published this way. Nowadays, of course, novels are published as books, and no famous author would see his newest novel as a serial in any magazine. So did this come from the decline of short stories or – as I think more probable – is it one of the causes?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *