Culture: Book
Alien Nation   (+4, -1)  [vote for, against]
A book that represents a complete synthesis of the alienated meanings of alienation in the context of science fiction.

Two major areas of intellectual life can be merged with quite a long story about science fiction space aliens and the philosophical and sociological concept of alienation.

This is an intriguing idea for several reasons. The vast scale and scope of such a story that encompasses everything in the separation of one's microscopic innermost individual subjectivity to the outermost reaches of the universe could just be enough to address all the very nuances of the fascinating concept of alienation alluding to the various interpretations of many authors.

It begins with a contemplation on the subject of alienation itself, and how the meaning of alienation has been alienated, so that the various meanings appear alien compared to the other. The scope of the story broadens to involve a protagonist who is conflicted with the alienation of self and others. The previous contemplations of alienation are revealed to be the protagonist's own, having been alienated from the protagonist for the purposes of story writing.

The story then proceeds to describe contemporary systems of alienation that further expand the scope of the novel to the modern world system. As the scope broadens it is made clear that each successive layer alienates the other by scale. Image alienates object, mind alienates image, mind alienates self, self to others, society to self, world system to society. Oh, and the protagonists are really two people Allie and Nathan, who are in love but find that they are separated by the alienating aspects of the world.

Then the aliens attack. The aliens hate alienation and will do anything to stop it. The people of Earth being alienated hate the alien nation and they conflict with them. Allie and Nathan are brought together through the conflict selling many copies, alienating their relationship further.

In a surprise ending Allie and Nathan are made to realize they are a single schizophrenic person. However quite suddenly having just won a victory against Earth, the aliens burst into the mental hospital and explain that they were tricked by the psychiatrists and are infact two separate people. They then get married, which offends the aliens. The end.
-- rcarty, Apr 19 2012

Tomorrow, boys and girls, Sesame Street will be brought to you by the word Dissemble, where Bert and Ernie will hedge around the question of the true nature of their hidden, homoerotic feelings for each other, without actually mentioning the words "love", "homosexuality", "penetrating" or "deep".

Word games are fun!
-- UnaBubba, Apr 19 2012

This is a metaphor for something, I just know it.
I must admit the 'selling many copies' part has me stumped.

...and there has just 'got' to be a better ending.
I mean you're never going to get a sequel wrapping up every loose end like that...
-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Apr 19 2012

The selling many copies part breaks through the fourth wall. Their romantic relationship in the novel is exploited for profit on the book itself.
-- rcarty, Apr 19 2012

OK, who have I alienated now?
-- UnaBubba, Apr 19 2012

//all the very nuances of the fascinating concept of alienation// this is the bit I think is the nub of the joke - if you take it that this line is sarcastic, the idea is a reaction to the "fascinating" concept of alienation and the way it is often bandied around as the default interpretation made by literary (and film) critics of pretty much anything that comes past their desk.

When Harry Met Sally - A Critic says "A sprawling saga deconstructing the alienation of the protagonists struggling with the sociological issues of contemporary life in the 1980's."
Free Willy - A Critic says "A sprawling masterpiece depicting the struggle of a boy's feelings for a sea-based mammal which are thwarted by their inter-special alienation."
Police Academy 6 - A Critic says "A galloping epic exploring the alienation experienced by the latest group of recruits and their stuggle with acceptance in an alienating world.." - yada yada yada.

So with the author with their tongue pressed firmly in their cheek, here's my alienating pastry [+]
-- zen_tom, Apr 19 2012

sp: separate
-- rcarty, Apr 19 2012

Would be a succes d'estime to rival _Report from Probability A_.
-- mouseposture, Apr 19 2012

I'm going to have to read that for sure.
-- rcarty, Apr 19 2012

random, halfbakery