Friday, March 4, 2016

A Mother's Arms, by Sarina Dorie

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(SF) On an alien world, an 8-tentacled native adopts an unwilling human. (7,918 words; Time: 26m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"A Mother's Arms," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 03-04|16, published on by .

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

Pro: The story has a good mix of poignant and humorous moments. It's quite a trick to make us mourn the deaths of creatures so alien to us. On the other hand, it's hard not to laugh at "all larvae say that."

Con: The ending is a little too pat. Creatures don't change their life-cycles just because human beings care about them. It's also hard to believe that a creature with such a short life cycle would evolve intelligence and language at all.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 03-04|16)

3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really enjoyed this one. I think the story scored an intriguing and unusual success in twining the typical human/alien confusion, with a unique adoptive-mother/hapless-adoptee confusion. The two mirror each other, but the adoptive/mothering dynamic, acknowledged by the human who's life the mother saves, makes the relationship an affectionate one. The gulf between human and alien is no easier than between a mother and her son, but that doesn't preclude a deep connection between them as well.

    So, really great voice, a story that went interesting places, and most of all - an unusual powerful viewpoint and juxtaposition. I definitely liked :)

  2. It was entertaining, no question. I was just disappointed by the ending.

  3. Yes, I thought the combo of an alien prospective on a human with a mother's prospective on a child was fun and clever.