Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Angles of Incidence, by Nancy Fulda

(SF) The human colony on Kokkal IV can't expand without permission from the "Evermother," but the local aliens require they "assimilate the shadows" first. (6,683 words)

Rating: 4, Recommended

"Angles of Incidence," by appeared in the October 2016 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, published , by .

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

Pro: It's not a complicated story, but it's great fun. Kitty's inspiration saves the day, but up to that point there's lots of tension--particularly when the enormous Evermother appears and starts eating things. There's also lots of humor as she deals with the marginally competent minister and his panicky staff. There are plenty of hints about the secret of the "shadows," so when Kitty figures it out, we're impressed but find it believable.

Not only does Kitty manage to communicate with the Evermother, the deal is completed, and even the minister gets more or less what he deserves.  It's also satisfying that Kitty resolves other problems along the way. She's smart enough to figure out that the aliens will protect the humans from the hot water, for example.

It's a little sad, but entirely in character, that she rejects Johansen's offer to socialize over a cup of coffee.


The idea that aliens could visualize the world in fourteen dimensions is rather silly. As is the idea that Kitty could in minutes deduce how the Evermother's language was encoded into the sculptures. 

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