Reviewed by Alex Binkley
The 34th issue of the prestigious L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future science fiction and fantasy anthology includes a fascinating story by Ottawa author Natalka Roshka.
Roshka's story is set in Boston where a Hexie, a sort of mobile octopus-like species, named Tesse, is on shore leave from his starship after a long voyage to Earth. Tesse is fascinated to the point of distraction by the different colours of Earth, especially the blue in the sky. When he meets a blue-eyed human, named Ami, he immediately falls in love. Ami is also drawn to Tesse, although there is much in his behaviour that puzzles her.
Eventually, Ami discovers that her alien lover's attraction to her is not about her as a person but for the colour of her eyes and the cravings that they incite among Hexies. Ami also comes to understand how Hexies display their emotions through colour changes in their skin.
The two lovers are forced apart when Tesse's commanders find out that he has invented a clever way of making money, one that does not meet their approval. They immediately recall him to the spaceship.
After Tesse is gone, Ami relives pleasant memories of their time together, which leads to an idea for using the colour fascination among the aliens to make money, employing programs Tesse has left on her computer.
Roshka’s story is the kind that makes the reader think about the interaction between humans and aliens and how they would learn about other each if they can ever move past the vast differences in how they look at life. Science fiction could use more of these stories.
The 34th issue of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Anthology is published by Galaxy Press.