Songs From a Conch Shell Whistle

Rated 5.00/5 based on 4 reviews
In good times, the Tsipia-seekers, aliens of a stormy planet, trade their goods and services and lay their eggs on warm beaches. But it has been a long time since the good times. All changes need an author. Will Kelennet find a way for her clutch-sisters and brother to survive?

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Words: 6,300
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458177940
About M.C.A. Hogarth

Daughter of two Cuban political exiles, M.C.A. Hogarth was born a foreigner in the American melting pot and has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things—-web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist—-but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise.

Her fiction has variously been recommended for a Nebula, a finalist for the Spectrum, placed on the secondary Tiptree reading list and chosen for two best-of anthologies; her art has appeared in RPGs, magazines and on book covers.

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Review by: Elizabeth McCoy on June 25, 2011 :
My usual plaint of "there's more story here" is still a quiet background refrain (and, whaddya know, there's another story to read at some point!), but it's a *quiet* refrain.

So. We've got aliens. And we've got tradition vs. stagnation vs. survival. And we've got people having to notice things and make changes to survive. We've got what's clearly a rich oral tradition for Living Life.

We've also got some alien words which are not handed over in a Glossary, but have to be gotten in context. I like that.

(And we've got three genders again, hee! But a very different sort of 3 genders than the Jokka. Though the English major in me now wants to do a compare-and-contrast of the two species, with their apparent birthplace of their respective alien seas, and their need to adapt to environmental change or die...)

Right, where was I? Ah, yes. Tsipia-seekers. Very alien, without being high-tech, but also without being incomprehensible to the human readers. Good story!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: satyridae on May 31, 2011 :
This is a kind of spec fic that I deeply enjoy, and that there isn't nearly enough of. In a stone-age alien culture, environmental pressures drive a family to take steps towards their own evolution. Of course, they don't see it that way.

The Tsipia culture is not stupid or base, they're merely poor in resources, and I appreciate that a lot. They have a deep understanding of their philosophy (if not their biology), and this understanding comes through clearly to the reader. A complex and rich story in not many pages, which is also something I appreciate.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Conrad Wong on May 31, 2011 : (no rating)
Alien biology and mores! If you enjoyed the Jokka stories, you should enjoy this as well, as a different species contends with its own problems of reproduction and survival.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Rowyn on May 05, 2011 :
A fascinating, deftly-written story dealing with a large issue in an intimate way: the way the actions of one small family can impact the chances of their species' survival in a changing world. It's a grim subject dealt with in a way that's serious and sensible. I don't always enjoy Ms. Hogarth's alien anthropology, but this one is excellent.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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