“Our horizons are so far, and we see so little of them.”
Not quite a first contact story but close enough. The story starts so slowly I almost gave up, but it’s a full, rich tale once it gathers momentum. Almost four stars.
“As if he were a man who had walked away from his own humanity?”
Written in 1963, this story reflects the uncertainty and fear of that time. (How many of you remember the Cuban Missile Crisis? Vietnam?) Current Americans can hardly imagine the barely suppressed hysteria of many people living then. Without understanding that context, the immediacy of the story is dulled.
“A man must belong to something. The galaxy was too big a place for a being to stand naked and alone.”
Awarding winning science fiction of the different era. SF/F has different tropes and de rigueur topics now. The sixties were all about the coming Armageddon.
“It doesn’t matter much what any of us are, just so we get along with one another.”