Science Fiction opens the mind to more than just fantastic concepts about technology and alien planets. At its best, it also makes you realize that there's more than you could be doing with your life than sitting at your desk and wasting time on the internet. That's where we come in, with the SF Alternative Career Guide. They say that travel broadens the mind, so it stands to reason that the further you travel, the broader your mind would be. In that case, why not become the broadest-minded mother you know, by becoming a Space Trucker?
Think of how perfect the job would be - The romance of the wild open road, multiplied by the infinite skies of outer space. How can you resist?
Many people first became aware of the role of the Space Trucker through Deep Purple's seminal ode to the career, Space Truckin from their 1972 album Machine Head (AKA "The one with Smoke On The Water on it"). The lyrics summed up the appeal of the lifestyle with subtlety and wit:
We had a lot of luck on Venus
We always had a ball on Mars
Meeting all the groovey people
We've rocked the Milky Way so far
We danced around with borealis
We're space truckin' round the the stars
Come on let's go Space Trucking
It's not all the peaceful transportation of goods around the galaxies in this lifestyle, however. If popular culture has taught us one thing, it's that every space trucker will, at least once in their career, find themselves carrying some kind of cargo that is both unexpectedly dangerous and important to the survival of the universe. Take, for example, the crew of the Nostromo in Alien (described by Ridley Scott as truck drivers on, of all places, The Force Is With Them, a documentary about Star Wars): They happen to find a multi-million dollar franchise just lying around in an abandoned spacecraft. Or the truckers from the European comic Sky Doll, who not only have a cosmic messiah sexdroid castaway, but are also running around doing secret missions for the bad guys.
If the idea of sexdroids, secret missions and life amongst the open skies sounds attractive, then you'd probably want to check out the 1996 infomercial for the career, Space Truckers:
No, wait. Maybe not.
I know what you're thinking: I'm sold! How do I get to be a space trucker? Well, that's the tough part. Sure, you could apply to Ace Trucking Co., but they're never hiring these days. Instead, I think you just have to rely on the same kind of dumb luck that led to Marvel Comics' Ulysses Solomon Archer to the career:
A group of aliens came to Earth, seeking to recruit people to become starship pilots. They chose truckers, because of their experience with the solitude of the open road, much like that of space... [The aliens] revealed the secret of their actions: "What the Universe really needs are truckers! Why sure! Men of courage and intelligence who are strong-willed and independent!"
While it's true that the pay will probably suck, and the hours, solitude and personal hygene resulting from the gig aren't great either, if you're the right man for the job, none of that will matter. Hell, if you're the right man for the job, you'll have made up your mind and be selling all your personal belongings in preparation for your new life already. Godspeed, my friends... or rather, 10-10, good buddies.