A new anthology, coming from Daw Books in 2010, will feature a bunch of stories that provide different answers to the Fermi Paradox: If extraterrestrial life should be common, why don't we hear from it?
Our topic is the Fermi Paradox: Why is it that, in such a vast cosmos, with hundreds of billions of stars in this galaxy alone, and no doubt billions of Earth-like planets orbiting them, we have found no evidence of intelligent alien life? No evidence that aliens have ever visited Earth (other than discredited UFO mythology), no detectable signals in all our SETI searches with radio telescopes... So: we're asking for entertaining stories that explore explanations for this enigma, looking seriously or comically at solutions to Fermi's question. Is intelligent life a fluke, arising only once or twice in the universe's long history? Does intelligence arise frequently, but with gulfs of time and distance keeping technological civilizations irretrievably apart? Do such civilizations inevitably implode or self-destruct within a few hundred years? Is our definition of intelligence fatally subjective? Are aliens among us right now, unseen? Are there aliens everywhere, but determined not to let us notice them? These, or other hypotheses, no matter how unlikely, should inform contributions to IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?