Challenge #1 — Create an Alien Voice

Challenge #1 Start Date: November 1st, 2011

Challenge #1 End Date: December 12th, 2011

We love movies about aliens.  We love them even if the aliens usually look a lot like humans.  If the aliens don’t look like humans, then they look like giant bugs, or giant aquatic animals — basically, they usually look animals we already have here on Earth.

Your challenge is to create an alien voice, and have it say a sentence.  It can be any type of voice from any type of alien.  But try to go beyond what you can imagine.  We want to hear voices that make us sit up, and go “woah, that’s gotta be from the Andromeda galaxy.”  If we on Earth are ever so lucky to hear a real alien voice, it probably won’t sound like anything we already hear on Earth.  It’ll probably sound completely different — it’ll probably sound completely alien!

To compete, please create a voice and send it to us.  Your sound file must be a minimum of two seconds in length, and no more than twenty seconds long. You may use any means available to you to make this voice.  Be as creative as you can possibly be.

Please send your submission to, by midnight December 11th.  We will choose one winner, and three runners up.  The winner will receive a two signed books, a Sound Bender T-Shirt, and a mysterious artifact of our choosing. The winner and the runner ups will all have their projects posted on our site, so everyone can know how awesome you are.


  • Our human language sounds a lot like our environment, especially the sounds the that solid objects make.
  • There are three types of sounds solid objects make.  First, two objects can smack into each other make a “hit” sound, like a drum stick hitting a drum.  Second, two objects can slide rub against each other and make a sliding sound, like that screeching sound your fork makes on your plate.  Last, an object can make a ringing sound, like a bell.
  • In human language, we also make three types of sounds.  We can make hit sounds like the letters “b,” “k,” and “p.”  We can make sliding sounds like the letters “f,” “z” or a “w.”  And we can make ringing sounds — those are the vowels.
  • Our language sounds a lot like solids objects make in nature because our brains are familiar with those sounds.
  • Now think about what kind of world your alien lives in.  If it lived in a liquid world, for example, then most of its sounds would be sliding sounds and ringing sounds.
  • Also think about this: most of the sounds we make when talk to each other are not words at all!  There’s lots of “ums,” and “ahs” and breaths and snorts and laughs and all sorts of things we don’t notice most of the time.  Listen to people talking, but don’t listen to the words.
  • Your alien does not have to be a humanoid, or even resemble an animal at all.  There could be all different types of life out there.  Your alien could be a cloud of energy four light years long, or a swarm of microscopic bugs with a group mind.  Be bold.
  • There’s plenty of other things to think about, but you’ll have to think about them for yourself!  Now get experimenting.

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