Saturday, August 13, 2016

Those Brighter Stars by Mercurio D. Rivera

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(Psionic SF) Ava recounts the visit of the "Needlers" to Earth and her part in the attempts to communicate with the aliens. (6,030 words; Time: 20m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average
Recommended By: GDozois:5

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 75, published on .

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

Pro: The science in the story is handled reasonably well, and the nano-assisted empathy is credible largely because it's not explained. There's a good parallel plot of Ava trying to remain part of Katie's life while simultaneously trying to contribute to the study of the Needlers.

Ava makes a good point that it's hard to see how she can understand the Needlers if she can't even understand human beings--or even her own daughter.

Con: The story of the Needlers is resolved, but there's no resolution on Ava's relationship with either her mother or her daughter. Ava's not a terrible sympathetic character, and so we don't particularly feel sorry for her.

The bit where the military tries to nuke the aliens was really hard to credit.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 75)
Mercurio D. Rivera Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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