Willard Marsh. The Ethicators. (Worlds of If Magazine, August 1955)

Read in Judith Merril’s The Year’s Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy, 1956.

Humorous story in which missionaries from the Antarean region arrive on Earth and are horrified by what they see – flesh-eating monsters and barbaric humans. They leave an Ethics Ray on the planet in the hope that they can change the behaviour of the inhabitants.

Marsh lets us know that the aliens are aliens, as they have whiskers, but otherwise their banter and terminology is very human like. The twist in the tail comes in the final sentence when we find out the nature of those who are looking down on us…..

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