Tatsat 'Tom' Patel

The middle son of a first-generation Gujarati American family, Tom Patel has felt like an outsider all of his life. From the backroom of his parents’ Dunkin’ Donuts franchise in Brooklyn, Tom’s earliest memories are of the warm embrace of American television and late night science-fiction marathons, bearing promises of a universe full of untold possibilities. As a teenager, Tom’s obsession over the search for alien life – and its associated conspiracy theories – gradually came to consume his life, alienating him from his friends and family. Rejecting his parents’ well-intentioned aspirations of a stable career, Tom dropped out of pre-med at NYU and used his student loan to buy his beloved van, ‘Lola’. Determined to prove an elite cabal controls the world from the shadows with the aid of alien technology, he now criss-crosses the country, drifting between part-time work, raging against the machine and the next sci-fi convention.