Monday, August 7, 2017

Reversion, by Nin Harris

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(SF) Expelled from Tortz and separated from her alien lover, Askriti has fled to her homeworld, where she has to submit to a ceremony before they’ll consider her human again. (6,678 words; Time: 22m)

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ Needs Improvement

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 131, published on .

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

Pro: There's a really nice idea here: a human who "went native" on an alien planet, gets expelled, and has trouble being accepted back on her homeworld--partly because she herself doesn't really want to be a "normal human" again.

It's also possible that the story is a metaphor for a person who left a traditional community for a life in the city but was forced to return home after having acquired a taste for exotic sex and a lover who's unacceptable at home.

It's a strong point that Askriti does find support on her homeworld. Not everyone is against her.

Con: The writing quality drags this story down. The narration suffers from unending purple prose (“viridian green waves lapped with ominous avarice against the glittering red sands”) and continual infodumps. What little dialogue there is is wooden.

Beyond that, the science is really bad. For one thing, Interspecies hybrids are absurd. For another, the story describes how they introduced an animal species to the ecology to add more oxygen. And trying to remove “alien spores” from someone weeks after they’ve been back on the home planet makes zero sense.

The behavior of the characters often breaks disbelief as well. Creating hybrids as an experiment is one thing, but actually having sex with tentacled reptilian aliens that damage your body in the process is quite another.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really couldn't get into this story. Sometimes that's down to a story not being aimed at me though.

    1. I wonder what the audience of people who're into rough sex with reptiles is though? :-)

  2. Takes all the issues involved with marrying outside of your own culture to the extreme.

    Sounds like the sex was perfectly fine in water.

    1. It would be more realistic if they used an online support group to share tips on how to make it work. :-)