Last December I posted a review of Arrival, the sci-fi movie with a linguist as the main character. TLDR? Its reach exceeding its grasp, and I was disappointed. I’m in the minority with this opinion—most people who saw it said it was solid sci-fi and much better than they expected—but I stand by it.
Like Cloud Atlas, I was intrigued enough to go read the original short story. Also like Cloud Atlas, everyone else in San Francisco had the same idea, so it was months before I actually got my hands on Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, the published anthology containing “Story of Your Life”.
This isn’t exactly a fair book review. I’ve read Isaac Asimov’s The Gods Themselves before, and even though it was years ago I remembered it pretty well. So when I saw it at a used book sale I deliberately picked it up again.
The Gods Themselves is really three novellas in sequence, loosely tied together by a
MacGuffin piece of free-energy technology that, of course, is never really free. The first section is a rather typical-for-Asimov discussion between scientists resenting the success of the inventor/discoverer of said technology that’s basically a snapshot of academia. This is all right, and actually…
I’ve been reading a story called ひぐらしのなく頃に, or Higurashi: When They Cry. (A higurashi is a kind of cicada.) It’s a story about a small town in which a curse takes the lives of two people every year, and this year is no exception, and—
“Hey, weren’t you reading a story with a very similar mystery/fantasy murder and a very similar title?”
Well, yes, but that one takes place on a small island, and way more than two people die, and it’s seagulls (うみねこ) rather than cicadas. Totally different!
…Okay, actually they’re by the…