Novels to help you plan your trip to Area 51

Are you a budding sci-fi fan, alien enthusiast or Indiana Jones in the making? Read on for top tips and survival guides for all things Area 51 from one of our newest Teen Advisory Board members, Chenuli Halgamuge.


Area 51 draws the likes of both travellers and locals who enjoy taking a photo behind a sign that explicitly says ‘do not enter, no trespassing beyond this point, photography prohibited’. In 2013, the CIA finally acknowledged the existence of an ‘airbase’, but since the operation is still highly classified, people all over the world believe that it is home to aliens.

So what does society do when the government says ‘do not enter’? We make a Facebook page called ‘Storm Area 51’, because the truth is, ‘They can’t stop all of us’ – plain and simple. The ingenious plan we have so far to outwit the numerous trained snipers and surveillance experts in order to get into Area 51 is to ‘Naruto run’ faster than their bullets. No problem, right? Rest assured, 2 million people think it’s the way to go.

Still having doubts? Want to decrease the likelihood of being abducted by aliens? From what to pack, to how to survive in the desert, and how to create codes that the government can’t read, read on for my top Area 51 survival tips and required reading list.


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Tip 1: Only pack the essentials

The Martian by Andy Weir

‘As with most of life’s problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.’

Mark Watney, presumed dead, is left behind on Mars after a dangerous storm threatens to destroy the progress of the Ares 2 Mars mission he is on. The problem is, he can’t communicate to Earth he’s alive. The odds are not in his favour. The novel explores his damaged space facility, limited food supply and a whole lot of duct tape as he tries to make his way back home.

For an Area 51 trip, Watney would suggest packing potatoes for nutrition, around a kilogram of decaying radioactive plutonium-238 for warmth, and Commander Lewis’s 90s disco playlist for mental stability. You’ll thank him when you’re stuck in Area 51 with no battery, no street signs and no kangaroos, because then you’ll definitely need to ‘turn the beat around’.


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Tip 2: Hold up, we need the specialists.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

‘“Our combat specialist’s advice is gather up the sharp cutlery and pointy sticks, then run face-first at certain death? You know, I like you, Kal.” The other boy raises one perfect silver eyebrow. “You have a better plan?”’

If you have dyed hair, that pretty much means that you’re both powerful and awesome. You guys are the Auroras and Kals of our Area 51 trip. If anything goes wrong, we need you on the front lines loaded with Syldrathi powers and a mean jab, just like Aurora and Kal from Aurora Rising.

Do you have a height that’s below average (hi, that’s me) but an IQ that’s well-above average (nope, I take it back, that’s not me)? If so, you guys are the Zilas and Catherines, A.K.A the medical team and emotional support. A lot of the people signing up to come to Area 51 are university students, so they need only a couple of things…black coffee and ramen.

All the charming and sarcastic heartbreakers are the Tylers and Finians – the distraction. So if the back-up plan goes wrong, it’s your job to think on your feet and figure out a back-up back-up plan (which is usually every living species for themselves).


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Tip 3: Have some faith in modern education: teens are the geniuses of the future.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

‘I need you to be clever, Bean. I need you to think of solutions to problems we haven’t seen yet. I want you to try things that no one has ever tried because they’re absolutely stupid.’

Ender’s Game is set more than 100 years into the future, where adults look to genetically enhanced children to fight for the safety of the planet. One of whom is Ender, who, at only six years old, qualifies for battle school and is trained in everything from advanced physics to war tactics. He must face challenges on and off the battlefield to gain the respect of his peers and elders.

But when he has it, will he choose to unwaveringly follow the commands of his elders, or do what he thinks is right? Much like now, when people are being told to ignore what’s going in Area 51. Perhaps it is a child’s innate curiosity to question everything they are told that prevents society from becoming a dystopia.


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Tip 4: Shhh…We need to speak in code.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

‘“Continue your quest by taking the test.” Yes, but what test? What test was I supposed to take? The Kobayashi Maru? The Pepsi Challenge? Could the clue have been any more vague?’

Earth has developed many forms of code; from the complexities of Latin to the subtle social rules of texting that are only understandable to a select few. What we need is an Area 51 code that is so vague, even if the CIA track our texts, they’ll have no idea what any of it means.

Ready Player One is set only 25 years from now, in an overpopulated Earth where people escape in a virtual reality world called the ‘Oasis’. When its creator passes away, he leaves his fortune to the first person who can pass his trials. But each trial is pre-empted with a code, so it’s not just the buff and tough that hog all the glory.

Both protagonist Wade Watts, parentless and growing up in a junkyard, and us, growing up in the 21st century, are up against impossible odds. But if you become good at breaking the codes in Ready Player One, then you’re probably in with a solid shot at Area 51.


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Tip 5: The government is kind of everywhere.

Lifel1k3 (Lifelike) by Jay Kristoff

‘You know, democracy sounds like a great idea until you spend three minutes with the average voter.’

Lifel1k3 (Lifelike) is Mad Max and Cinder on steroids. It features a world where robots are integrated into society and scientists have created a perfect android called the lifel1k3. When a band of hunters begin to pursue 17-year-old Eve, she is opened up to a world beyond her remote junkyard. She doesn’t know why they are following her, so together with an android called Ezekiel, her robotic conscience Cricket and her best friend Lemon Fresh, she pursues the truth of her origin.

The government may not be the best at keeping secrets, but they’re kind of smart. Cyber security is real and the government is watching us, so you probably don’t want to bring phones unless you want to get tracked down for being in a ‘restricted area’.


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Tip 6: Even if we don’t find the aliens…

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

‘We traveled so far and your friendship meant everything. It was very difficult, but there were moments of beauty. Everything ends. I am not afraid.’

Station Eleven is set in a post-apocalyptic world where most of humanity has been wiped out by a deadly virus. A group of actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony roams from town to town, showcasing the works of Shakespeare. Mandel shows how true beauty in the form of art can connect strangers and rebuild the pieces of a broken society.

I’m hoping someone brings a ukulele on the trip so even if the plan doesn’t work, we can all sit around a campfire and sing ‘Kumbaya’ together. And even if we don’t find anything at Area 51, we can still make a record for ‘World’s Biggest Uber Pool’ on the way back home.


I hope this helped. Have a safe trip, and see you in Area 51!

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Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle 1)

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle 1)

Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

$19.99Buy now

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