Suzanne Palmer. Ten Poems for the Mossums, One for the Man. (Asimovs July 2016)

asimovs1607A clever story from Palmer, told in ten (actually 11) sections, each opening with a piece of poetry. Fortunately, her poems are properly poetic, unlike the ‘poems’ frequently appearing in the various SFF magazines, which aren’t anything of the sort.

Her protoganist is a sole human on a distant planet. He has issues, amongst them wanting/needing to be alone, as he has found being lonely on a planetful of people on Earth particularly difficult. It’s a scientific mission, but the science isn’t onerous, simply reporting some observations to an orbiting vessel.

He has an old-fashioned typewriter, and he hopes that the muse, and his poetry, will return. He begins to find out more about the planet he is on, and when a threat arrives, he finds more about himself, the indigenous mossums, and is able to dig deeper than he would have thought possible. And the eleventh section, and the poem, is a treat.

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