"Greetings, gentlebeings!" said the alien ambassador.
The President of the United States stood on the podium staring up into the sky. The sky was grey and woven with strands of autumn red and a strange, alien silver-grey. The huge shape of the alien ambassador hovered above the White House, easily the size of a nuclear submarine. The ambassador was a huge pulsating mass of grey matter, moving gracefully in the air as though it were swimming. It was supported by the aliens' advanced anti-grav devices.
"As you know," the alien ambassador said, its booming voice breaking over the heads of the assembled masses, "we are a race of hyper-advanced space whales –"
"Whaliens", the President's Special Advisor for Extraterrestrial Activities said sourly –
"–and we have travelled many light-years –" the whalien ambassador paused significantly – "many light-years," it said, "to come here, to Earth."
Lavie Tidhar's "How to Win a Hugo Award" (first published as "Whaliens" [Analog, April 2014]) is available to read online.
The Violent Century is out now in the US, and A Man Lies Dreaming is available in paperback in the UK from this week.