Cyclopaedia 19: Alien Invasion

Welcome to Cyclopaedia 19: Alien InvasionCyclopaedia is a monthly article on the InnRoads Ministries website as part of the Resources series.

I remember the first time I saw the 1953 The War of the Worlds movie. I was fascinated by the story line of aliens invading earth. I quickly went and checked out the H.G. Wells book from the library and was even more fascinated to find it set in a different time period, an alien invasion fought with cannons rather than tanks. Soon after I watched movies like The Day of the Triffids and The Blob. Over the years I have enjoyed watching even more movies and reading books focused on alien invasions, with The X-Files being one of my all time favorite shows on television. Growing up watching these alien invasion movies and tv, reading invasion books, and studying science, I always wondered if there were other races out in the universe. If so, would they be friend or foe? I The truth is out there!

If you have questions about this article or topics you would like me to consider researching for future Cyclopaedia articles, please leave a comment below.



The alien invasion is a staple theme of science fiction cinema and fiction, and a popular topic for conspiracies. Extraterrestrials invade Earth with plans to exploit the Earth’ resources, exterminate humanity, enslave humanity, harvest humanity, ignore humanity, or – in rare circumstances – befriend humanity.

Sometimes this theme is used as an allegory to comment on real life events and politics on earth, other times the theme is used to hide a social commmentary or environmental agenda, and other times it is just a fun summer blockbuster where we root for the outmatched heroes!

H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds is considered the seminal alien invasion story, and it set the stage for the genre today with the original novel and later radio program, movies, and TV show. There were other aliens on earth stories before this, but The War of the Worlds set the standard still followed today.

This Cyclopaedia focuses on alien invasions of Earth. Not wars with alien civilizations out in the universe, nor invasions of Earth colonies on other planets, nor Earthlings invading other planets. Space Wars will be a topic another day.

Various Forms of Alien Invasion

Earth experiences so many different types of alien invasions. While some are obvious with ships attacking our largest cities, others are more subtle with microscopic organisms invading our bodies to secretly take over our world. Some of these invasions are not aggressive or even negative, but in fact are aliens who have come to live with us and share our planet.

  • Alien Abduction
  • Alien Infiltration
  • Alien Friendship
  • Alien Occupation
  • Alien War

Following are sources of information pertaining to Alien Invasion to assist prospective game masters, game designers, writers, and storytellers in knowing where to start their research.



Nevada’s Extraterrestrial Highway and Area 51 : between dead cattle, sci-fi fans, and UFOs, the Nevada Department of Transportation road crew responsible for maintaining Highway 375 have their hands full
By Varhola, Michael J.
Source: Utility fleet management. Vol. 21, no. 10 (Oct. 2002) p. 20-24

The Truth Is Out There …but in the isolated corner of Nevada known as Area 51, only a few have seen it fly. And they aren’t talking.
By Scott, W B
Source: Air & space Smithsonian. 25, no. 4, (2010): 16-21



2001: A Space Odyssey
By Clarke, Arthur C.

The 5th Wave
By Yancy, Rick

All You Need Is Kill
By Sakurazaka, Hiroshi

The Andromeda Strain
By Crichton, Michael

Animorphs (series)
By Applegate, K. A.

By Cline, Ernest

Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
By Hubbard, L. Ron

By Zahn, Timothy

Childhood’s End
By Clarke, Arthur C.

The Course of Empire
By Flint, Eric and Wentworth, K.D.

The Day of the Triffids
By Wyndham, John

Ender’s Game
By Card, Orson Scott

Evolution’s Shore
By McDonald, Ian

By Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry

The Forge of God
By Bear, Greg

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
By Adams, Douglas

The Host
By Meyer, Stephanie

A Hymn Before Battle
By Ringo, John

I Am Number Four
By Lore, Pittacus

Invasion of the Body Snatchers
By Finney, Jack

A Matter for Men
By Gerrold, David

The Puppet Masters
By Heinlein, Robert A.

Remember to always be brave!
By Rodriguez, Daniel

By Wilson, Robert Charles

The True Meaning of Smekday
By Rex, Adam

The War of the Worlds
By Wells, H.G.

Worldwar: In the Balance
By Turtledove, Harry



Alien Vs Predator: The Hunt Begins – Tabletop
Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator – Computer Game
City of Heroes – Computer Game
Conspiracy X – RPG
Crysis – Computer Game
Delta Green – RPG
Destroy All Humans! – Computer Game
Doctor Who Roleplaying Game – RPG
Doctor Who Time Class – Tabletop Game
Duke Nukem Forever – Computer Game
End of the World: Alien Invasion – RPG
Galaxy Defenders – Tabletop Game
Half-Life – Computer Game
Halo 2 – Computer Game
Invaders – Tabletop Game
Invasion: Target Earth – RPG
Legendary Encounters: Predator – Tabletop Game
Living Steel – RPG
Mars Attacks! – Tabletop Game
Mass Effect – Computer Game
Necessary Evil – RPG
Project: ELITE – Tabletop Game
Risk: The Dalek Invasion of Earth – Tabletop Game
Robotech: The Roleplaying Game – RPG
Space Invaders – Computer Game
XCOM – Computer Game
XCOM: The Board Game – Tabletop Game



2001: A Space Odyssey
The Abyss
Alien Nation
Alien Vs. Predator
The Andromeda Strain
The Arrival
Attack the Block
Battlefield Earth
Battle: Los Angeles
Ben 10 – Cartoon
The Blob
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Cowboys & Aliens
Dark City
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Day of the Triffids
Defiance – TV
Destroy All Mosnters
District 9
Doctor Who – TV
Earth: Final Conflict – TV
Earth vs. The Flying Saucers
Edge of Tomorrow
Ender’s Game
The Faculty
Falling Skies – TV
The Fifth Element
I Come in Peace
Independence Day
Invaders From Mars
The Invasion
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
It Came From Outer Space
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Little Shop of Horrors
Man of Steel
Mars Attacks!
Marvel’s The Avengers
Men in Black
Monsters vs Aliens
The Mysterians
Neon Genesis Evangelion – Anime
Pacific Rim
Plan 9 From Outer Space
Power Rangers – Movie/TV
Robotech/The Super Dimension Fortress Macross – Anime
Roswell – TV
Space: Above and Beyond – TV
Space Jam
Starblazers/Space Battleship Yamato – Anime
Stargate SG-1 – TV
Star Trek: First Contact
Superman II
The Thing
The Thing From Another World
They Live
Torchwood – TV
Under the Skin
V – TV
Village of the Damned
The War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds – TV
The World’s End
The X-Files – TV



Area 51

Grover’s Mill, New Jersey,_New_Jersey

MUFON Symposium

Roswell UFO Festival

SETI Institute

Space Adventures


Walter H. Andrus
Arthur C. Clarke
John Billingham
Frank Drake
Louis Friedman
Jan C. Harzan
Bruce Murray
Barney Oliver
Carl Sagan
John Schuessler
Allen Utke
H.G. Wells

I hope you find these resources informative and inspiring for your adventures, storytelling, or game design.

Stay Creative!

T.R. Knight

( If you would like to save this list of resources as a convenient PDF for later reference, you can find that HERE )


He is a freelance editor, proofreader, and writer in the game industry. He is also a Husband and Caregiver to his wife Angie, Father of Twins Emily and Rachel, Foodie and Hobby Chef, and Director of Academic Technology/Associate CIO at Taylor University. You can learn more about T.R. at his blog

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