Wayland's Principia by Richard Garfinkle
Price: $4.99 USD. 128260 words.
Published on April 4, 2012. .
The aliens sent word, sent science, sent ways of thinking and doing. But not themselves, not until three generations trained as Guests, as alien-thinking humans.
When the aliens arrived, their thinking was more alien than even the Guests had anticipated.
Now, with civilization collapsing, Guests join the aliens in their ships to see what can be communicated between species with nothing in common.