Sunday, January 20, 2019

For the Wicked, Only Weeds Will Grow, by G.V. Anderson

★★★☆☆ Average

(SF Adventure) On Requis, Mouh and their siblings tend the dying from many different races. Mouh has never seen a human before, and he turns out to be quite a challenge. (4,482 words; Time: 14m)

"For the Wicked, Only Weeds Will Grow," by (edited by Andy Cox), appeared in issue 279, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.056 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: For the most part, the story is about hard Arnold makes his final peace. He’s hard a hard life, much of it his own fault, but he finds his final rest and helps nourish the next generation of “druggles.”

Con: Arnold doesn’t seem to reach any sort of epiphany. He just gives up.

The idea of an alien race that's able to interface with the minds of all other races and able to excrete the most effective drugs for all other races is rather far-fetched.

What’s with those all-caps messages interspersed with the story? Why does Mouh think they can lure a luxury ship into crashing there?

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I really liked this story a lot but it also puzzled me a lot too. I spent a week thinking about it and re-read bits of it. Author's website was of no help.

    My take on this is that the story is primarily a slice of life on this planet as seen from one resident with the background history providing the motivation for the action.

    The plan to survive long-term is in the background as a secondary story of sorts. Some of Mouh's siblings are not planning to die out and they are making sure of it.

    They somehow get the dying Arnold Burke onto their planet, get his memory of what he did to get himself discharged from the military, and send off this information to a ship that wants to come here - therefore replenishing their own race. Mouh gets involved after Arnold's arrival.

    They could have gained knowledge of Arnold from other patients and were just waiting for the right time and piece of knowledge to arrive.

    The title refers to both Mouh and Arnold.

    Just my guess. I really wish the author had not been overly subtle in the telling. It was a very good story otherwise.