Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Being Neighborly, by Kate MacLeod

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Colony SF) Pete’s family live on a farm on Sitara IV, which humans with an alien race no one understands very well. He’s in charge of the farm while his parents are away, with strict instructions not to try to talk to their alien neighbors. (3,510 words; Time: 11m)

"Being Neighborly," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 05-06|18, published on by .

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

Pro: Pete’s determination to be neighborly to the Green next door may or may not work out, but it speaks very well of him that he wants to do it despite rules against contact. Although this isn’t quite a coming-of-age story, it definitely documents a major change inside of the young man. This maturing is the heart and soul of the story.

Con: The biggest problem is that it sets up an interesting conflict with the aliens but does nothing with it. Yes, the boy is the real heart of the story, but it's still disappointing that we don't find out the consequences.

It’s hard to believe the whole planet is hot and humid, and it’s difficult to be sure what the author means when she says the days are short. It's also hard to believe the short days are the problem they're described as. It can’t be winter all the time, and if it’s just a faster rotation, then the nights would be short too, so there would be the same percentage of daylight hours as on Earth.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 05-06|18)
Kate MacLeod Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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