Friday, January 18, 2019

Leviathan Sings to Me in the Deep, by Nibedita Sen

★★★☆☆ Average

(Fantasy Horror) A whaling ship conducts an experiment in generating whale song to try to make it easier to attract whales to kill. (5,402 words; Time: 18m)

Recommended By: 👍JMcGregor+2 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 69, published on .

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

Review: 2018.713 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The story does an excellent job of making the entire enterprise seem horrible (such as highlighting the sad fate of the calf), and each step of the research project makes things seem ever more grim.

By the time the ship reaches the dark northern waters and the crew start disappearing, it’s clear that the whale-song machine is going to destroy them all, but the captain (at least) is too far gone to stop it. There's a justice in turning them all into whales, of course.

It’s clear that the story is set in a secondary world by the fact that the captain uses names of months like “Harvest,” “Rivers,” “Winds,” and “Snow.”

Con: It’s not clear at the end if the crew are actually turning into whales or if the captain has simply gone insane. Also, there's no one to root for in this story.

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