Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Short Story by Kij Johnson
WINNER: 2009 Nebula Award
Vulgar, horrible, beautiful. An astronaut crashes into an alien ship. It rescues her. But it is a tiny ship and the alien is amoeboid. So they have constant sex with varying degrees of consent until they are rescued and can stop occupying the same space. The whole terrifying thing is a metaphor for a bad relationship, or maybe she just projects her feelings for her boyfriend who left her onto the alien. Maybe it isn't even intelligent. It is her sex toy/houseplant, and she is its. By the time they ever get anywhere, the thing will be her whole world.
This is like reading a detailed account of psychological breakdown under torture. But I liked it. The language was vivid and the horror of being in such a close space, with no contact, no communication, and this thing was very well done. And I love the title. 4 Ins out of 5.