This is not a particularly famous or widely-published story, but it may have been anthologized once in one of the popular "Year's Best"-type antho's (or "Best of "If", etc.) -- probably where I read it years ago.

It's a tongue-in-cheek, dryly satirical story, probably pretty short, playing on the clichéd "Teenagers Save the World from Alien Invasion" trope. Here it is years later, All-American (former teenagers) Chip* and Molly* [*I'm making up the names, I DON'T remember them] are now married. They helped save the Earth from some diabolical alien invasion years before, but now life is mundane and lacks the fabulous heroic excitement of their thrilling moment in the sun years earlier. The story basically plays on how reality has set in (marital malaise, job tedium, no one wants to hear them (him?) reminisce Yet Again about "the good old days" when "[remember how] "we saved the Earth from the Aliens!"). I don't remember the ending, but it's basically a wry portrait of the clichéd fresh-faced 1950's kids from various stories/movies, only years on. Anyone know this story? Thanks in advance. (Was delighted when people here came through swimmingly on my earlier short-story query. Ta.)

  • 2
    Not what you are looking for, but the same theme pops up in The Incredibles. Sep 14, 2015 at 0:46
  • I didn't even knew that was a cliché. I've read dozens and dozens of science fiction stories, and I'm having a hard time thinking of even one where teenagers save the world from alien invasion. What's the obvious example I'm missing?
    – user14111
    Sep 14, 2015 at 4:24
  • 1
    @user14111: I'm having trouble pulling up examples in my head, but I'm pretty certain there are at least a round dozen examples of young-adult literature with a similar theme, usually with the adults never realizing there was an invasion in the first place.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 14, 2015 at 13:09
  • 1
    I haven't read that one, but the sensibility sounds a lot like McSweeney's. The middle aged disillusionment of (mostly fictional) pop culture icons is pretty much their stock-in-trade. mcsweeneys.net Sep 14, 2015 at 13:38
  • Sounds almost like a sequel to Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers, although I don't think anyone got married at the end of that.
    – Fruitbat
    Sep 14, 2015 at 19:47


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