Monday, August 15, 2016

Her Scales Shine Like Music, by Rajnar Vajra cover image
(SF) Left behind on an alien planet while his shipmates return to Earth to secure their claim, Ross struggles to fill the time. Then strange things start to happen. (9,564 words)

Rating: 4, Recommended

"Her Scales Shine Like Music," by (edited by Ellen Datlow), was published on by .

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

Pro: This is a fairly traditional SF adventure story. Once Ross realizes the creature is intelligent, he wants to help her, even though it is likely to cost him the fortune he'd hoped to win. The results are spectacular--way beyond anything he might have expected--and with that the story ends. We don't know if Ross lived to be rescued or if we're reading the diary he left behind, and it's better that way; he did the right thing without expectation of reward, and it would spoil it if we learned he got rewarded (or punished).

Con: The setup is a bit contrived. First, the odds of finding another species just days after they'd left are really, really low. Second, the circumstances that result in Ross being left alone seem a bit too pat. Third, given the size and strength of the lake creature, it's odd that she couldn't reach the device herself.

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