Literature / Rod Albright Alien Adventures

Also known as the Aliens Ate My Homework series.

A children's series about a 12-year old that has a tiny spaceship crash into his room, and ends up helping the aliens on their mission.

Written by Bruce Coville in The '90s, the series in chronological order is: Aliens Ate My Homework, I Left My Sneakers In Dimension X, The Search for Snout (or Aliens Stole My Dad if you live in the UK), and Aliens Stole My Body.

This series provides examples of:

  • Aliens Ate My Homework: See the title. It was actually the truth, but due to the circumstances, it came across as a Refuge in Audacity joke.
  • Alien Lunch: Grakker's people raise worms to eat.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: It's stated that Smorkus Flinders became the leader of the monsters in Dimension X simply because he was the biggest.
  • Birds of a Feather: BKR and Smorkus Flinders are good friends and partners because they're the two most evil and vicious criminals in each other's respective dimensions.
  • Bittersweet Ending: BKR is ultimately stopped, the Albright family is finally united, and Rod will even be able to return to space in the future. However, the entire Ferkel crew must stand trial going against the Galactic Patrol's orders, and their ultimate fate is left up in the air.]]
  • Bizarre Alien Sexes: Tar Gibbons, as seen below:
    Gibbons: I am neither male nor female. I'm a farfel.
    Rod: Is that more like a boy or more like a girl?
    Gibbons: Actually, it's more like a pippik than anything.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: Rod. That's why the first book is named such. (The one significant time he does lie (he lies at the end of the first book), near the end of the series, BKR sees through it.)
  • Disappeared Dad: Rod's father left his family many years before the first book under mysterious circumstances, and hasn't been heard from since. It's because he's no longer on the same planet.
  • Eldritch Location: Dimension X
  • Evil Is Petty: BKR is implied to be Space Hitler and starts the book in his latest scheme — bullying children at an elementary school.
    • It should be mentioned that according to the aliens, the worst possible crime is cruelty, because unlike other crimes which might have mitigating factors, if you're cruel, it's because you willingly choose to be.
  • Fantastic Honorifics: The "Tar" of Tar Gibbons is an honorific meaning "Wise and beloved master who could kill me with his little finger if he so wished."
  • For the Evulz: Everything BKR does is for this, such as his plan to merge our dimension with Dimension X and his later plan to freeze time. Grakker notes in both cases that BKR is well aware that he would be affected just like everyone else, but as long as he can hurt people, he just doesn't care.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Grakker has a Hair-Trigger Temper and can be quite vicious, but he is genuinely a good person, and way better than his nemesis BKR.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Rod and his siblings... sort of. Atlantean human/human, anyway.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Rod points this out when the Tar asks to be referred to as 'it', but as it points out, it is neither male nor female, making the corresponding pronouns wrong and therefore insulting in their own right.
  • Living MacGuffin: Rod's brain contains the final component BKR needs to complete his Time Bomb.
  • Lizard Folk: Snout's species look like anthropomorphic lizards and are even hatched from eggs. However, their hat is that they're especially proficient in mentalism and telepathy.
  • Plant Aliens: Phil is a (dead ringer for a) sunflower.
  • Punny Name: Phil O'Dendron.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Rod's father is actually 35,000 years old.
  • Sarcastic Confession: By accident. "Aliens ate my homework" was the honest truth, but as Madame Pong pointed out, it was such a bizarre explanation that nobody could be expected to take it seriously.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: At one point, Arnie the school bully tries to have his dad sue Rod's mother, because Rod (with a little alien help) ducked his fist and he broke it against the school's wall. While there's no way that it would hold up in court, Rod's mother mentions that she can't afford the trouble.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: The crew's decision to travel on to the Mentat rather than follow the Galactic Patrol's orders in the third book.
  • Single-Biome Planet: Averted pretty hard, and lampshaded when Rod asks Grakker about his home.
    Grakker: Do you come from a swamp planet?
  • Space Is Magic
  • Starfish Aliens
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: BKR's alias on Earth is Billy Becker.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Due to the Bizarre Alien Biology of the Starfish Aliens
    • Of the five alien crew members 2 that are roughly male, 1 female, 1 plant that uses male pronouns, and 1 with no equivalent in Earth's biology that considers male or female pronouns insulting. When Rod's cousin asks why there is only one female, she explains that the sheer diversity of species means they don't even pay attention to that kind of thing anymore.
  • Tragic Monster: Smorkus Flinders, BKR's friend and partner, was once a kind and decent person until he was caught in a particularly horrific Reality Quake and turned into the monster he is. Unlike BKR, who simply does what he does For the Evulz, Smorkus Flinders does what he does as a way of lashing out at life and the universe for what they did to him.
  • Time Stands Still: BKR's ultimate goal.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As noted in the second book, Smorkus Flinders' fighting skills are mediocre; as the other monsters named him their leader purely because he was the biggest out of them all, he never had to fight much. That being said, he's big enough to literally stuff a human into his ear canal, and has the Super Strength to match.
  • Wham Episode: The final chapter of I Left my Sneakers in Dimension X reveals that Rod's absent father is an alien and a member of the Galactic Patrol.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: The villain named BKR. Yes. That's his full name.
  • You Are Not Ready: When Rod asks why Earth has not been asked into the League of Planets, he's told that humans are considered warlike and borderline insane by the other species of the cosmos.
    • We learn in The Search for Snout, however that the League of Planets only emerged after 1000 years of war between its future member species, so that might be a bit of hypocrisy.

Alternative Title(s): Aliens Ate My Homework