When Strangers Meet

Book Cover: When Strangers Meet
"When Strangers Meet" is one of 31 stories in this tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin, Dispatches from Anarres. First publication New Legends, ed Greg Bear.

"Among the strangest and most wonderful SF tales I've read in recent years." -- Editor Susan DeFreitas

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Publisher: Forest Avenue Press
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“The voices from the sky have called again, Great One,” said the One’s Second.

“When strangers meet,” said the One, “all benefit.”

“Are they strangers,” asked her Second, who happened to be an older sister, and pale green, “these new ones from the sky?”

The One sat back on her soft throne, stretching all her top limbs out to the side in a motion that said that she could wait until tomorrow to worry about tomorrow.

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The Second hesitated, unsure if this meant a dismissal from the throne room or not. The One laughed, a hissing sound that relaxed the Second. The sound of the One content was always a good sound.

“I think these new ones may be strangers,” the One said. “We have sent them our language books, and they have sent us theirs. They wish to come, to meet us. To understand us.”

“As strangers?”

“They say they are friends, but they must study our language and then understand. I don’t think they mean to be familiar.”

“I am sure you are right, Great One. Shall we give them permission to join us?”

The One considered.

“Tell them to ask again, after the festival. The new year brings clarity, and strangers bring benefits.”

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About the anthology

Named for the anarchist utopia in Ursula K. Le Guin’s science fiction classic The DispossessedDispatches from Anarres embodies the anarchic spirit of Portland, Oregon, Le Guin’s hometown, while paying tribute to her enduring vision.

November 2021, Forest Avenue Press

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