Sarina Dorie. The Day of the Nuptial Flight. (Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August 2014)

fsf20140708A story that starts out intriguingly, but gradually my suspension of disbelief failed.

Dorie tries a difficult thing : telling a story from an entirely alien viewpoint. Alien and insectoidal in fact. She makes life a little easier by starting ‘I will try to use the words a human might understand’, and then goes on to write the story in perfect human English.

The narrator is a hive-insect (human size), fluttering around his/her fields seeking a queen to impregnate. Unable to perform when require, s/he then finds what is of course a human being, and transfers his/her attention. The insect follows the human to its camp, and the story continues as we see it’s attempts to make sense of these strange visitors to its world.

Where the story makes a big leap is the point at which the alien insect begins to be able to speak basic English, which I found difficult to accept. The story has a challenging ending, as the human finally gives birth to a baby that lives, but…

More from this issue here.

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