Sunday, July 24, 2016

Asymmetrical Warfare, by S.R. Algernon

Nature, March 2015

This is, in its own way, an amusing little gem of a story.

Earth is being invaded by aliens, and the narrative voice is the commanding officer of the invading aliens. It turns out the invasion is a mistake; they thought they were invading a world of stellate--starfish-like--beings like themselves, who when conquered will be wonderful additions to their expanding empire. This error arose from the Earth spaceships having star-like emblems on them, suggesting the invaders may have strong preconceptions about where intelligence can be found.

The entire cascade of consequences plays out on one three-column page in Nature.

Our narrator is so earnest and well-intentioned, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Read it!

I received this story as part of the 2016 Hugo Awards voters' packet.

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