Monday, October 12, 2015

Bilingual, by Henry Lien

Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, March/April 2015; 4,070 words
Rating: 3, Good, ordinary, story

Akari Yamaguchi is a 16-year-old girl in present-day California whose very creative plan to save the dolphins causes some chaos.

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: A whole story told through tweets is interesting. We find ourselves rooting for Akari, whether we think she knows what she's doing or not.

Con: No one has ever had any success with "dolphin language," so Akari's work would be headline news if it really worked. But we never find out. As the story progresses, she keeps attributing greater and greater abilities to the dolphins, and nothing ever confirms or contradicts her. Given the crudeness of her methods and the way she seems driven by wishful thinking more than anything else, you'd expect that her experiment, if implemented, would have zero effect. But, again, we'll never know.

The ending, where Legal suggests offering her an internship, falls flat because she would surely not accept such a thing from them.

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