Far-future stories, and those with an alien perspective can be tricky to pull off. Matthew Kressel succeeded recently in Clarkesworld with his The Garden Beyond Her Infinite Skies.
Tambour, in contract doesn’t quite pull it off in her story. Firstly I found myself totally pulled out of the story with two uses over a few paragraphs of “There were no words for ‘xxxx’ in Cheema’s language’ (the emotion ‘pity’ in one instance and ‘luck’ in the the other). Why just those two cases? Why not pepper every single reference to anything with an aside to the reader about how this alien creature does/doesn’t compare to humanity?
Secondly, Tambour uses new words in some cases – “Number 6, the new krez of only a monmoth, sat in the swivel chair at the altar”. Why replace some words with krez and monmoth, but keep swivel chair and altar?
And fourthly, the reference in the story to a plaque ‘Dedicated to Simon Ng’??
(If you’re wondering about the third issue it was krumbtincked and fezwanglified at ’32.)
So, somewhat opaque and in need of the application of some literary Cif.
More from this issue here.