Space Aliens at the Roswell, NM, UFO Museum
Let’s face it: Real space aliens—if they exist and they probably do—are probably nothing like this. We have gotten used to these skinny attenuated bipedal creatures who look vaguely humanoid. Life can take many possible forms, especially on planets that are significantly different from Earth.
I have just finished reading a book by Stanisław Lem called The Invincible. I have long thought that the best sci-fi comes from Eastern Europe, particularly Poland and Russia. In the West, we tend to think too much along the same lines; but novels from writers like Lem and the Strugatsky brothers give us a whiff of the alien that is not necessarily tied down to traditional forms.
My Edition of Lem’s The Invincible
For another look at what might be out there, I strongly recommend you read Boris and Arkady Strugatsky’s Roadside Picnic, and see the great film that was based on it: Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1982).
Sci-fi that tries to imagine the really alien can be a little frightening, but it can be great!