Friday, December 11, 2015

The Shores of Being, by Dave Creek

(SF) Mike shows an alien how humanity beat the ant-like Jenregar, but a visit to an abandoned mound outside Chicago infuriates the locals, who treat the place as a shrine to their dead. (8,330 words; Time: 27m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆, Not Recommended

"The Shores of Being," by , appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact issue 01-02|16, published on by

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

There is no actual story here; things just happen, and the author tells them to us. The protagonist is pretty helpless for the most part and hard to identify with. The bigoted sheriff and his friends never seemed believable either in their words or their actions.

The bad science in this story is painful. The Drodusarel breathe methane, but at just 10 degrees above its melting point, which seems rather unlikely. The Jenregar are creatures able to live on Earth and on the Drodusarel planet. The Drodusarel was unaware that liquid water could exist in large quantities, even though it's one of the most common compounds in the universe. The translation program handles complex sentences without difficulty, but is missing words like "sarcasm."

In the first encounter with Hardwick, Cerusto's translation system can only communicate with Mike. Thereafter, though, she can communicate with anyone. The Drodusarel are supposed to be a hive mind, yet Cerusto has to explain "sarcasm" to her captain.

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