Excerpt from Curiosity Seekers

One of the most iconic and lucrative series in television history is the Star Trek series. The original show with its now famous cast first aired in 1966. It featured stories of a crew of mostly human explorers encountering alien civilizations and their strange customs, and skillfully reflected our own values and problems in the process.
Now, Rabbi, hospice chaplain, writing instructor, and fellow listening enthusiast, Karen B. Kaplan has created her own science fiction universe with a collection of quirky interrelated stories in her second book Curiosity Seekers. In one of the stories, a group of humans who talk and never listen (sounds familiar?) encounter the alien race of Moonites who thrive on listening. Here’s an excerpt:

Victor, a musician, put in, “Well how about that! The Moonites are attracted to sound, huh. Maybe any sound? Now that’s the kind of folks I can fall for, especially if it’s real music they are after. That has to be why they head on over when we make their vegetation crunch or hear us ‘perform’ with our own percussion. I mean like when Beatriz our counselor tapped on her helmet, or when we make noises from our throats. And,” he could not resist adding, “they sure are more trusting about novel situations than most humans I know—including myself.” He stopped short with that, wondering what came over him to reveal that much about himself.
But the captain did not take much note of Victor’s admission because he was too eager to hear his own addition to the conversation: “And not only that. I think they especially like the sound of our human voices more than anything.” The captain felt that at long last he had added something original and memorable.
Another human sensed the captain’s pleasure at becoming the center of attention with his observation and jumped at sharing that center through some sarcasm: “Captain, I tell you this is a place I can deal with. Beings who crave the sound of our own sweet voices.” Everyone laughed. But the captain’s heartier guffaw was a cover-up. He knew when he was being upstaged, that was for sure, and blushed with humiliation at the thought. The Moonites stopped dancing and drew nearer, as if at last truly surprised by something novel. The captain became even more discomfited when he observed that the nearest Moonites spent the most time staring at and pointing at him.
“Well waddaya know! I bet they’ve never heard laughter before,” Victor surmised, amused as could be as he stared at every member of the foxy kangaroos, who were fully in thrall to the humans’ ever-expanding auditory repertoire…

You can check out her blog here (full disclosure, I did a guest post on her blog here). Her book is available on amazon.