REVIEW SUMMARY: This week’s Short Fiction Friday features two selections of science fiction with a sinister vibe, the opening story from Peter Watts’ forthcoming collection, Beyond the Rift, and a story from the recently released anthology In Space No One Can Hear You Scream.
BRIEF SUMMARY: Parasitic extraterrestrials feature in both of this week’s stories; one visits Earth and finds it a hostile place while the other chooses a pet from among Earth’s population only to discover that a pre-teen girl may not have been the wisest choice.
PROS: Strong prose in the Watts’ story; engaging young character in Daniel’s tale; fun takes on the alien-as-parasite trope.
CONS: Final line in one story is potentially offensive and may color what is an otherwise good story.
BOTTOM LINE: An alternate viewpoint of John Carpenter’s The Thing makes for a page-turning read and Tony Daniel’s story, chosen at random, provides a nice comparison as each story examines the idea of aliens assimilating mankind for their own reasons. One story looks at things from the alien point of view while the other shows the tenacity of a young lady to remain fully human. Both were enjoyable and worth checking out as further examples of science fiction with a frightful edge.