Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands, by Seanan McGuire

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(SF) A scientist mourns the failure of scientists to anticipate the consequences of making contact with an alien race. (5,568 words; Time: 18m)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

"," by (edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas), appeared in issue 10, published on .

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

Pro: The story is well-written and it packs an emotional punch. We care about these people, and it hurts to watch them dying.

Con: It's impossible to believe that the aliens in this story put so little effort into making sure they were understood. Or that the genocide request really represented what everyone wanted.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 10)
Seanan McGuire Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. For me, the why the event occurred isn't interesting. There's a phrase in there about how the aliens tried to confirm that was exactly what was wanted and that was enough for me. The more interesting part is the what happened and the emotional impact, and the sheer stupidlity/irony of the situation, that something so small wasn't considered. Therefore I'd probably rate it a 3 as I think there are good things to consider here, and it's only if you're very specific in needing a very grounded reason why, that it might fall down.

    1. The real problem is that the whole thing is built around the joke that a Mondegreen could result in the destruction of the world. A serious story shouldn't really be based on a gag. If you just ignored that part, I agree entirely that the rest was fine.

  2. I'd rate it a 3 myself. There are good things to consider here in this story, as per Emi226's comment.

    Still, with such an extreme request, you'd think someone on the aliens side would have looked into it and figured it out. Or ask for a confirmation in a different way.