Pat MacEwen. The Lightness of Movement. (Fantasy & Science Fiction, Mar/Apr 2014)

fsf140304The lengthiest story in the issue is SF, albeit of the xenological persuasion. I’m not the biggest fan of these, but at least it’s not xeno-lingual a story which tend to be particularly tiresome.

MacEwen gives an interesting take on human-alien interaction, viz. the use of interpretative dance. The protagonist is a scientist on-planet to study the indigenous race through masquerading as one of them, and engaging in courtship rituals. Give the woman her due, she’s willing to suffer for her science, as, erm she sees those rituals through to a full conclusion (admittedly through the use of a very clever and accomodating hi-tech bodysuit).

My dancing, when I used to do it, tended to be one-dimensional, up and down for about 2 minutes, to the like of The Ramones and The Clash. Shannon has a range of different moves, but these get her into trouble as she disobeys the commandment not to give the aliens an inclination that she is anything but one of them.

She gets very close to one family, and sacrifices have to be made.

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