“And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices,” by Margaret Ronald

Another one from Clarkesworld: “And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices,” by Margaret Ronald.

Recommended by BestSF, who writes:
“Because of it’s structure, mix of human and societal analysis, and an altogether different type of First Contact, I’m putting this forward for consideration for the Best SF Short Story Award 2016.”

Read the story:

http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/ronald_06_16

3 thoughts on ““And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices,” by Margaret Ronald”

  1. Mulling this one over.

    This is a story where I *LOVE* the SF premise, but the rest is fairly unremarkable.

    In terms of plot, characters, worldbuilding — I don’t feel like much is going on. Most of the story is, in fact, a straightforward buildup to describing the SF premise, from the view of the scientists and academics who have been researching it. It’s leavened with the melancholy of the academic field decaying into irrelevance, and Kostia’s tension with Wallace – which all feels more told than shown, to me.

    I just don’t feel invested in any of this, UNTIL the premise is fully unfurled, and we understand that humanity has been a mute, helpless witness to an alien race’s extinction. And humanity is left behind, even lonelier than before.

    That’s… REALLY powerful stuff, for me.

    I suppose that for a short story format, the conventional "scientist characters gradually unfurl the premise" structure is perfectly serviceable. It does seem to me like this story *could* have hit it way out of the ballpark, and instead… instead it kind of buries the lede.

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