Monday, December 14, 2015

The Singing Bowl, by Genevieve Williams

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(SF) In hopes of learning more about the mysterious gis, an ethnomusicologist comes to their homeworld to hear them sing. (2,883 words; Time: 09m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆, Average

"The Singing Bowl," by , appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction issue 01|16, published on by .

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

Pro: We only gradually begin to learn just how dangerous the singing is, so the tension builds slowly. The one real discovery, made by the obnoxious pilgrim, is that if you throw someone onto the the surface of the bowl, the gis destroy that individual. Even that was forshadowed by the information that gis have no notion of individual responsibility.

Con: The protagonist is a wimp, who causes her own problem and depends on someone else to solve it. Then, having survived, she abandons the idea of ever understanding the gis at all. This makes the whole story feel rather pointless.

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