Thursday, July 26, 2007

Neil Gaiman's "How to talk to girls at parties": Weird aliens

This story is apparently inspired by Arthur Clarke's "The Possessed", & is quite readable.

Full text of story is available online.

Story summary.
Vic & Enn are two adolescent boys in London - Vic quite comfortable with girls, Enn on the shy side. Enn is at Vic's home, & Vic takes him to a party. Only they land at the wrong home.

No problem. It's an all girls party, & Vic easily gets himself welcomed.

As the story unfolds, we learn these girls are not normal, but possessed by alien beings. The nature of these alien beings, reason for their taking over other beings, & their method is quite similar to Clarke's "The Possessed".

We learn the aliens lived underwater on some world, & there was a catastrophe that made them leave the place. So they converted themselves into a "poem" or a "pattern", then broadcast it across galaxy as light. Now this poem is contagious; wherever it encounters sentient beings, it can take them over!

Fact sheet.
How to talk to girls at parties, short story, review
Rating: B
First published: 2006
Nominated for Hugo Awards 2007 in short story category

Related: All Hugo Award stories.