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How to Think Inside the Box

A fresh take on an old saying!

Space-opera/Humor/Action – A WOW Short-story

Loongunis need constant change to thrive, while the strange-haired Earthmen hate the endless unstability. When a sabotage stops the shift engines of their traveling Box, the enforced immobility will drive all Loongunis aboard into madness… unless their translator finds a solution!

Science fiction adventure at its best, told by multiple award-winning author Michèle Laframboise.

If you like first contact stories featuring an alien POV, this one is for you! A chunky 7000-word SF story.

And wait until you spot to whom the story is dedicated!




The visitor bent over the window, his shoulders slumped. He lifted his right arm, creating new creases on his cloth. His short yellow hair lay flat, lifeless. I couldn’t distinguish any individual strand.

“This damn box’s driving me crazy!”

The Human’s joyless laugh echoed like a myriad of ice cracks. My ears retracted at this repulsive sound. (It’s considered inappropriate to do so in polite conversation, but he wasn’t facing me.)

“You’ll get used to it,” his companion said.

He was older, clad in dark gray with silver buttons aligned on the front. His raspy voice held no music. His hair condition was even worse than his fellow visitor: a crown of fine brown strands hanging from a dome of pale leather.

I couldn’t fathom what made them so distressed. The Humans had seemed happy enough coming on board.

The first three cycles had shattered their good dispositions.


As their flat hair made it difficult to read their emotions, I relied on their mobile mouth and sunken eyes. After a few cycles, I had gained enough experience to associate certain patterns of face cracks with their corresponding emotions.

Even if they turned their back to me, like now, the salty tang of their fear glands almost upset my stomach.

They hated the Box. They even had a nickname for it.



Reviews:Victoria Silverwolf on Tangent Online wrote:

The author does a good job narrating from the point of view of an alien who thinks in very different ways from a human.

Jason on Featured Futures wrote:

When things go haywire (…) the psychological and mathematical elements of the tale come even more to the fore and they are quite interesting.   


Collection: WOW 

Length: 7000 words

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