Sunday, May 16, 2010

Greatest Uncommon Denominator #5 (2010)

Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), issue 5 (2010). Pp. 200. $3.50 PDF / $12 print.

Reviewed by Terry Grimwood

Stephen Hawking is reported as saying that if we find intelligent life out there somewhere, we should not attempt to make contact, presumably because to do so would be very dangerous indeed. Well, T F Davenport’s story ‘Nature’s Children’ makes abundantly clear some of the potential perils and disasters inherent in inter-species contact, not least the complete misunderstanding and incomprehension on all sides when faced with alien culture, civilisation and behaviour. The story is, quite frankly, a masterpiece, complex, beautifully observed and set against a vivid, lush backdrop of a planet seething with life, both animal and vegetable. It also sets the standard for this impressive, but sadly (at least to me) unknown journal, GUD.