Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Penitents, by Rich Larson

★★★★☆ A nice coming-of-age piece

(Post-Apocalypse) Mara has made a deal with a scavenger girl to help her rescue her best friend, who left the underground habitat to try to talk to the aliens and never came back. (6,374 words; Time: 21m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 245, published on .

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

Pro: Mara loves Io, even though she suspects that’s not reciprocated, and much of her motivation for rescuing her is the hope that Io will appreciate it enough to love her back. But when she learns Scout had been with the aliens and that the aliens are upset that we’ve ruined the Earth, she rethinks things and makes an adult decision: to actually join the aliens in hopes of talking to the one alien intelligence that believes there’s a way to save the world.

Con: If the connections to the aliens are voluntary, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that they’d make people abuse their bodies marching naked across the rocks. In general, this seems like a very inefficient way for the aliens to communicate with humanity.

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3 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. Reminiscent of someone trying to help a drug addicted loved one turn their life around.

    1. Making them walk naked across the rocks? :-)

    2. No! :P Mara trying to rescue Io. The alien cube thing is the drug. The addict wants the drug even though it's as harmful as walking naked across rocks.