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Basic Trope: Humanity encounters an intelligent alien species for the first time.

  • Straight: The crew of the starship Lazarus arrives in their destination solar system and picks up coherent radio signals from one of the planets.
  • Exaggerated: ...and then from another ... and another ... and another...
  • Downplayed: SETI picks up a radio signal from several light years away, and starts sending radio signals in response.
  • Justified: The crew exobiologist explains that life is likely to evolve everywhere that human beings would find habitable in the universe.
  • Inverted: An alien species completely vanishes from the universe, never to be encountered again.
  • Subverted: As the Lazarus closes in on the planet, they discover that it is actually Earth.
  • Double Subverted: ...millions of years after World War Three, when a new species has replaced humanity.
  • Parodied: A crew of geeks looking to see if intelligent life may be found in a biker bar after they get a response to a message they sent to there in a parody of SETI.
  • Deconstructed: The alien species is so radically different from humanity that no communication or understanding is possible.
  • Reconstructed: The radical differences between the humans and the aliens are not unbridgeable thanks to convergent evolution, and so both species can gain great benefits from their interactions.
  • Zig Zagged: Two Human Subspecies from long-separated lineages encounter for the first time.
  • Averted: Absent Aliens.
  • Enforced: The story is being written for a collection of first-contact novellas.
  • Lampshaded: "I don't believe it! To find extraterrestrial life on our first voyage out of the solar system ... it's fantastic!"
  • Invoked: The Lazarus was sent to its target solar system because spectral analysis of the planet indicated the presence of life.
  • Exploited: The ship exobiologist uses First Contact as an excuse to seize control of the ship.
  • Defied: The Lazarus immediately leaves the solar system when the signals are discovered.
  • Discussed: "In the event of possible alien contact, starship crews are advised to proceed with extreme caution. Standard protocols are listed in Appendix L of The Terran Science Fleet Manual."
  • Conversed: "What kind of aliens do you think they'll turn out to be?"

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