Skip to main content

"The Liars" by Juliette Ward

"The Liars" by Juliette Ward 

This story was published in "Analog Magazine" in October 2012 issue. 

Talk about lost in translation.  Adrian and Qing, husband and wife, who happen to be linguists, stop by an alien paradise to visit with a friend, Lydia, before they head out on assignment.  This place is called Poik Paradise.  The poik seem to be some sort of cross between a lemur and a koala bear.  They have their own distinct language, but some have picked up how to speak English. Humans visit this place to relax and get away.  It is owned by a company called Paradise Company. 

The trio, the couple, and their friend, soon befriend one of the Poik name Op.  The Poik refer to Op as Liar.  Adrian doesn't get quite why she is called a liar, or what it means.  Eventually Op takes Adrian to hear the wake up song the Poik sing to the Liars each day to fully understand what being a Liar means. 

After hearing the song Adrian finally understands that being a Liar means that you are intentionally hurt.  The Poik take out their hate and aggression on the Liars until they die prematurely.  After finding one of the Liars imprisioned away from the Paradise grounds, he can't stand to think of his friend Op being in there.  He vows to set her free and the trio of friends attempts to free the imprisioned Liar and save Op at the same time. 

At times this story was a bit confusing.  It didn't quite click right away.  It was a fun story to read, but it only started making sense at the end of the story.  So all the while I read the story I was asking what the point of everything was, but went ahead to finish the story.  By the end of the story most of the confusion was cleared up.


Popular posts from this blog

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow
This story comes from the anothology "Brave New Worlds" edited by John Joseph Adams.
This story had an interesting concept.  A government program in Merry Valley gives anonymous and random red cards to some of the residents.  A government issued revolver is also given along with the red card.  These red cards entitle the carrier of the card to become what is known as an "enforcer." 
An enforcer gets to kill one person of their choosing for any reason.  They can kill with impunity, but must follow the laws and guidelines of the program to not get in trouble.  As long as the guidelines are followed there are no repercussions

"Shooting the Apocalypse" by Paolo Bacigalupi

"Shooting the Apocalypse" by Paolo Bacigalupi
This story comes from the anthology "Loosed Upon The World" edited by John Joseph Adams.
The end of the world?  Or maybe just the beginning to the end?  This story was definitely a wake-up call for some of the basic resources we have here on earth.  One of them in particular, water.
Texas has dried up and Phoenix is one of the few towns that still has water.  Phoenix's water supply is served by a canal that connects to the Colorado River.  The canal is called CAP, or Central Arizona Project.  The CAPis made of cementand protected by surrounding chain link fencing.  The CAP is an engineering feat of great magnitude.  The bureaucrats successfully negotiated the project before all of Texas dried up.  In the end Phoenix had better government officials.
Texans are constantly trying to breach the CAP for water.  There is a sort of civil war between Texans and the residents of Phoenix.  They hate each other to the poin…

"The Reach" by Stephen King

"The Reach" by Stephen King
This story has been published many times, originally in Yankee, under the name "Do The Dead Sing", and then later in Skeleton Crew under the name "The Reach."  I read this story in the anthology "The Dark Descent" edited by David G. Hartwell.
An old woman, Stella Flanders,contemplates her time living on an island for her entire life.  She considers things she would say to her children and her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.  She thinks about everything that has happened on the island and all the things that she has seen.  She thinks about how the island is more of a family than just a community.
Stella Flanders has seen her share of things and it all takes place around The Reach.  That space between the island and mainland.  Mainland where there is life outside of the small community.  Stella never found a need to go across the reach and was content to live right where she was on the island.
Time is…