Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Manuscript Tradition, by Harry Turtledove


(SF Exploration) A researcher studying plant life on planet TRAPPIST-1f finds that although they’re quite alien, there’s something weirdly familiar about them. (6,891 words; Time: 22m)

Recommended By: πŸ‘STomaino+1 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden), published on by .

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

Review: 2020.096 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: The Voynich Manuscript is a real thing, and the TRAPPIST-1 system is as described in the story (as far as the orbital characteristics go).

Con: It takes quite a while for the story to get going. We’re almost half-way into it before anything of real interest happens. Ultimately, Feyrouz has no agency in the story; that is, things happen around her, but she doesn’t influence the outcome. She doesn’t even have a goal of her own.

The ending is a let down. So the janitor really was an alien, but no one but her will ever know, and it makes no difference to anyone whatsoever.

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