172 Following

Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

John Scalzi
Baccano!, Vol. 1: The Rolling Bootlegs
Ryohgo Narita
Progress: 54/217 pages
Decision at Doona
Anne McCaffrey
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 185 out of 548 pages.

Alien Emergencies: A Sector General Omnibus - James White, David Langford

I'm finished with Ambulance Ship, the first of the three works in this omnibus. It was composed of several different stories/episodes, and I'm extremely conflicted about the last one. I'm putting this in spoiler tags, because I'll basically be giving away the story's major twist, but it touches on disability issues (sort of - does it count as a disability if it's a sense your species doesn't even have and can barely comprehend?).


So, the Sector General folks find a ship with several dead aliens and two barely alive ones. They can reach the dead aliens, but not the survivors, so they spend some time trying to understand what they'll be dealing with while they try to reach the beings in need of medical attention.


As it turns out,

there are two different kinds of aliens here. One type is blind and telepathic. The other type is animalistic, violent, dangerous...except that its unborn fetus is telepathic and intelligent. The Blind Ones managed to contact and reach the Unborn and had planned to explore space with them. The Unborn would allow the Blind Ones to experience what it's like to see, a sense that they had theorized existed but could barely understand. The Blind Ones, meanwhile, would allow the Unborn to explore more of the universe than the unintelligent Protectors of the Unborn (the pregnant parents) could have ever allowed them to reach.


So we have intelligent fetus beings that essentially die when they are born (the birthing process destroys the telepathy and intelligence of the Unborn, turning them into Protectors), and blind beings that have risked death in order to gain access to something as close to sight as they'll ever experience. The whole package makes me uncomfortable, and I'm not sure I'll have all of this sorted out in my head prior to writing my final review.

(show spoiler)