Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tamales in Space, and Other Phrases For the Beginning Speaker, by Gabriela Santiago

[Strange Horizons]
★★☆☆☆ Not Recommended

(Aliens) Carmen works on a space station where she caters to a clientele of “Lenguas,” who are aliens whose language is based on scent, not sound. (2,351 words; Time: 07m)

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 09/17/18, published on .

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

Review: 2018.532 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The alien language has osmemes (scents), not phonemes (sounds), and this understandably makes the language almost impossible for humans to master. It’s a cute gimmick.

“Lengua” means “language/tongue” in Spanish.

Con: There’s no story here besides the gimmick. It’s hard to believe the lenguas would confuse food with communication. It’s a big jump from smelling something to eating it.

No one would have attempted to learn their language. Everyone would have used either a sign language (like the “pidgin” mentioned in the story) or a written language. Nor would the aliens have confused the smells of humans and our cooking with language any more than we confuse the noises of animals or the sound of machines with English.

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 09/17/18)
Gabriela Santiago Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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