Thursday, November 7, 2019

An Eye For An Eye, by Jerry Oltion

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(First Contact; The Ascension) The crew is well-practiced at first-contact situations, but they’re not sure what to do when the alien representative plucks off an eyeball and hands it to them—and expects something in return! (9,263 words; Time: 30m)

This directly follows the action of “Ascension,” and although you can read this one without reading that one, this story does have spoilers for the earlier one.

"An Eye For An Eye," by (edited by Trevor Quachri), appeared in issue 11-12|19, published on by .

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

Review: 2019.598 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: This is a nice, hard-SF story where the crew has to solve the puzzle of the offered eye and somehow find a way to communicate with the aliens without, um, alienating them. If you read “Ascension,” you’ll know what’s happening, but there’s still plenty of excitement about wondering how long the humans will take to figure it out.

I particularly liked the fact that it presented language acquisition as hard. None of the magic Star Trek universal translator nonsense. (It’s a bit of a stretch assuming the language has separate nouns and verbs in the same way English does, but that’s a quibble.) I also liked the way the aliens were smart enough to realize that the humans couldn’t be expected to be exactly like them—and to get excited by the idea of memory transfer that didn’t involve the loss of body parts.

Con: There’s not much actual tension in the story. I never doubted the safety of the human beings. There’s not much character development either; the three human characters seemed pretty interchangeable.

Other Reviews: Search Web
Jerry Oltion Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

Follow RSR on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, or E-mail.

No comments (may contain spoilers):

Post a Comment (comment policy)