Judith Merril's "Exile from Space" (novelette, first contact, free): Human girl, raised by aliens, returns home
A very well done story, though with a familiar trope: lone, nearly human looking, alien stranded on earth. One of the better known stories of the kind is Murray Leinster's "The Strange Case of John Kingman".
Story summary.Strictly speaking, it's not a first contact story; it's about the adventures of a human girl who's returned to earth for the first time since she was taken away by aliens as a baby. And raised lovingly by them. Aliens who'd accidentally killed her parents.
It's also commentary on our society - by using the device of seeing it through the girl with alien outlook. Sometimes quite humorous.
And there is a love story too. She falling in love with a normal man here, & their ambiguous happy ending.
- On typical drivers on a crowded road: "You'd think anybody who could build an automobile—let alone an atom bomb--could drive one easily enough. Especially with a lifetime to learn in. Maybe they just like to live dangerously."
- "a true metropolitan area" "means--on Earth--that it is dirtier, more crowded, far less pleasant to look at or live in, and a great deal more convenient and efficient to do business in."
- "when dealing with humans, one must always allow for waste time."
- Her problem with contraceptives: "The idea of pursuing a course of action whose sole motivation was the procreative urge, and simultaneously to decide by an act of will to refuse to procreate."
Fact sheet.First published: Fantastic Universe, November 1956.
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Related: Stories of Judith Merril; First contact fiction; Fiction from 1950s.