Ken Liu and Mike Resnick. The Plantimal. (Asimovs March 2014)

asimovs1403A story that perhaps teeters a little over the dividing line between touching and sentimentality.

Living in retirement on a space station orbiting an alien planet, and elderly couple find a xeno-plant that appears to be more animal than plant that evokes some strong, buried memories and issues from sixty years in the past. The plant takes on a more human form, with direct relevance to them, enabling long-bottled-up issues to be uncorked and resolved. For me it’s just a little to neat, and the hidden secret that turns out not to be a secret does seem unlikely to have been unbroached during sixty years of married life, with the wife seemingly having been quite will to accept six decades of grumpiness from her husband rather than broach the unbroachable.

More from this issue of Asimovs here.

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