by S. G. Redling
performed by Angela Dawe
PS3618.E4344 D36 2013
Browsing Books Audio
Temporarily shelved at New Arrivals, 2nd floor
With the trend toward the dystopian in YA and science fiction, a steady stream of Independence Day style science fiction story lines in film, and The Big Read 2013 selection Farenheit 451 coming into focus, S. G. Redling takes a pleasant departure from the dark side of science fiction. Even if you aren’t an avid science fiction reader, you may find Damocles an enjoyable read – or listen, in this case, as you’ll find the audiobook in Andersen Library’s collection.
Author S. G. Redling imagines the attempts of the Damocles’ crew to bridge understanding and build a common language with inhabitants of planet Didet. Redling conjures no Trekkian universal translator to conveniently solve the language barrier and ease the plot along. The story is driven by linguist Meg Dupris, her crewmates, and their Dideto hosts as they discover ways to communicate where their knowledge of language, technology, sciences and a possible common ancestry converge. How does a person describe night in a place where numerous suns are always present? How can one indicate agreement or approval when a nodding head means nothing or conveys potentially different message altogether? By shifting the narrator’s voice between Meg and the Dideto Loul, the reader shares the exhilaration of both when understanding is achieved, and the frustration of both when confounded. Although hopeful, the Dideto and Earthers alike are in a precarious position, both sides often uncertain of their trust in the other, and the crew of the Damocles uncertain of their ability to return home.
Science fiction? Yes, perhaps; but this is a story I’ll place on my shelves with tales of clashing cultures and other such adventures.