My current endeavor is a short story called “The Visitor.” It is about the impact of an alien satellite as it enters orbit around the earth.
We earthlings send probes to other planets all the time — in fact there are several in orbit around other planets in our solar system right now, and some more on the way. Even Voyager and Pioneer are still trucking along, on average, some 30 light hours from earth.
What would happen if an alien culture sent a probe to our planet to observe it, perhaps in the same way as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter does? What would the people of earth do to themselves? Imagine if an alien satellite entered orbit around the earth, and did nothing else but circle the planet? No death rays, no little green men, nothing. Except a satellite in orbit.
I find the prospect of this extraordinarily interesting, because in many ways, nothing on earth would change — but in a fundamental way, everything would change.