Monday, January 7, 2019

Applied Linguistics, by Auston Habershaw

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(SF Action/Adventure) In an alien prison, an ameboid scavenger learns language from the sole survivor of a genocide and starts to think of escape. (5,458 words; Time: 18m)

"Applied Linguistics," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 01-02|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.013 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: I loved how the nameless narrator describes the way it gradually acquires not just consciousness but also morality. When its friend is hurt, it gets ready to eat him—because that’s what it does—but, for the first time, it considers reasons it might not want to. And at the end, it feels the first touches of grief for the loss of the friend it killed.

Con: I don’t personally believe it’s possible to teach language to a species that has nothing like it. Why would its brain have the capability if it never used it?

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Auston Habershaw Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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