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"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.


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