[On May 10, 2021 Strange Horizons officially expressed its political support for Palestinian solidarity. The views of Tangent Online reviewers are not necessarily those of Strange Horizons. Fiction critiqued at Tangent Online is, as much as is humanly possible, without prejudice and based solely on artistic merit.]
Strange Horizons, April 11, 2022
Reviewed by Seraph
Dementia, Aliens, and Lies, oh my! Lia splits her time conversing with aliens, visiting her mother, and wondering if the aliens are really telling her the truth about why they are here. The story is set in a comparably modern time frame, if unspecified, and mostly on or involving the International Space Station. There are various sympathetic themes woven throughout the story, although the predominant one is that of a loved one with dementia. In an odd way, perhaps even the aliens are suffering from a similar plight. Lia’s primary struggle is a relatable one: being willing to accept things that may or may not be true, out of the desire for something… anything… to just go right for once. All in the midst of being forced, not necessarily to lie to the people she loves, but certainly prevented from telling them the truth about her groundbreaking work and conversations with the aliens. I am not personally a fan of stories that read as though they might be diary entries, but there are plenty of elements here that speak to the heart, as well. It was an interesting read.