After one hundred years of war, it had all become very simple. Patriotism and loyalty were good, and wasting compassion on the Enemy, pale blue aliens with golden eyes, was bad. Even children could grasp that. Except for Marlene, who wanted to know why.
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on Jan. 3, 2016 :
This short story is very powerful despite its brevity. It's a tribute to all the Marlenes of the world, who stay curious, ask questions, and keep trying to do the right thing whether they're successful or not.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Jan. 20, 2015 :
I couldn't put down that story after I'd picked it up. The author's portrayal is both mercilessly lucid, in this universe in which almost nobody seems to react to atrocities, and full of emotion and hopefulness in the journey of Marlene, a character endlessly driven by empathy and the need to reach out and make things better. Marlene's character, her hopes and frustrations, her many questions and slow discovery of the truth of the system are very vividly and intelligently portrayed; her relationship with Jenny, a member of the enemy alien race who becomes her best friend, is deeply moving. The writing is effective and impactful, the ending achingly thought-provoking. Tragic, powerful and beautiful. A must-read for this author!
(reviewed 48 days after purchase)
on June 12, 2013 :
I like the way the main character doesn't know how much good she is doing. She is the ultimate tragic hero fighting a battle she can never win.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on May 26, 2013 :
I was blown away by this short story.
I generally like space opera, which means stories about wars, but reading one that takes peace activism seriously is a great change.