Friday, March 11, 2016

Listen, by Karin Tidbeck cover image
(Fantasy Science) In the far future, Mika translates for a group of ambassadors who're looking for a new home on the moon of a gas giant. (4,289 words)

Rating: 2, Not recommended

"Listen," by (edited by Ann VanderMeer), was published by , .

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

Pro: The story seems to imply that in the future most people will use a combination of speech and telepathy. The ambassadors are an older species of human, and they only have speech, which makes it hard for people to understand them. The moons somehow interfere with telepathy, which makes them undesirable for most people, but ideal for the ambassadors.

Con: Unfortunately that's just a guess. The text talks about sound quite a lot, never about telepathy. It's not clear why these "ambassadors" would have any influence on anyone--they seem like refugees.

The story's scientific inaccuracies destroy disbelief at every turn. For example, it implies galaxies are small star clusters, that moons can transmit sound through airless space, and that moons of a gas giant wouldn't be tidally locked.

Ultimately, the story doesn't have a satisfactory conclusion. We have no idea what happened on the shelf, why Oort left, why Petr went to "Gliese" why Mika couldn't get adequate treatment, etc.

3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Didn't like this one. About all I can say is that it provides some conclusion for the previous story "Sing" which is about Aino and Petr.

    1. Did it make more sense if you read the earlier story?

  2. Not really in terms of the world-building. Only in regards to what was up between Aino and Petr.