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A great book that explores this topic (and is pretty funny) is "We are Legion, We are Bob" [1].

Well that and Spin [2], which probably addresses your point - maybe they're out there and they're already messing with us?

Ultimately, whenever I think about Fermi's Paradox, I am reminded of xkcd [3]. Maybe we just can't tell they're right in front of us.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Are-Legion-Bob-Bobiverse-Book-ebook/d... [2] https://www.amazon.com/Spin-Robert-Charles-Wilson/dp/0765348... [3] https://xkcd.com/638/

Also Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds for a more sinister solution to the Fermi problem.

The Three Body Problem trilogy (Cixin Liu) also proposes a fascinating (dark) explanation

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