A Story Concept: Disguise Opera

It has been some time since I did some free form world building on this blog. Full disclosure, I have had this setting bubbling away in one form or another for a few years. I’m not sure if I like the idea very much, so it goes up here as a kind of creative exorcism.

The core idea is this: Masters of disguise so skillful they can disguise themselves even as bizarre aliens in the far future.

A space opera setting, but where characters disguise themselves as aliens.

I think this one would have to be a bit less mystical on the sci-fi continuum than most of my ‘science’ fiction. No magic, and no biological shapeshifting, because these make the disguise arts less impressive.

The main characters should be human. That might not be necessary, but human is my gut instinct. The aliens, on the other hand, should not be too human-like, but human enough for a human to disguise himself or herself as one. Somewhere between the aliens of Mass Effect and Scott Sigler’s GFL.

So how do the people disguise themselves as aliens, and why? How is gonna be the new tech of the setting. Why is even easier. Espionage. I kind of like the idea that a spy is recruited for his or her skills in disguise so as to infiltrate an alien place of power.

Spies then have to avoid detection while achieving some other goal in the midst of the aliens. Never mind that the aliens are weird enough that they’re tough to mimic, even with perfect or near-perfect disguises.

How to ratchet up the tension in a disguise story? That’s tricky to me. By its nature the disguise opera is not going to be focused on physical action. Now you see the real difficulty. I LOVE writing physical action, and this has inhibited my writing process before.

This is kinda where I’m stuck. I’ve got alien species brainstormed (I told myself just for fun), but I doubt I’ll ever get around to this story.

Thanks for reading.

Have a good day!


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