The Engine of Recall

{4.5/5} “The alien is incapable of language, does not possess a society in our sense of it and instead of our massive vocabulary, the thousands of words we have and the millions of subtleties of personal relationships which clutter up our thoughts and unconscious minds, it has an instinct and mind directed to technology… Both paradigms have the same ultimate end: survival.”

The Engine of Recall by Karl Schroeder, published in 2005

In “The Engine of Recall” Leo Modest is hired to pilot a ship to investigate an object around a distant star that is likely alien — he has different ideas than his employers. In “Solitaire” Theresa is wanted so she hitches a ride with a Solitaire, a member of an alien species who’s been known to treat humans as pets. In “Halo” Elise receives a message from someone aboard a ship that’s headed her way — the ship’s been taken over by people who mean to attack, and the man urges her to blow it up first.

This is a collection of stories originally published in the 90s and early 00s. It’s filled with imaginative ideas and interesting characters.

My favourite story is “Soliatire” in which the alien is very different — the human has no way of communicating with him, and even if she did the Solitaire wouldn’t care.

I mostly read novels but I do like to read short stories once in a while for variety. I love Schroeder’s novels, and his short work is also well worth reading.

I previously reviewed Schroeder’s novel Lady of Mazes.

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