I just finished this story, written by Ted Chiang, and just in time for the movie it’s based on, Arrival. I thought it was fascinating — an alien first contact story told via the perspective of a linguist who is attempting to document and intrepret the aliens’ language.
I am writing my own alien story, and felt totally intimidated, because my story reads like an emotional mess. I dunno. I liked it though, but the end bummed me out, only because the aliens arrived, spoke with humans, and then left without telling the humans much about themselves.
The way the heptapods thought was reflected in the main character’s narration. The work Louise did with the heptapods was peppered with Louise’s memories of her daughter. Turns out that Gary, the physicist she was working with, was the father of her daughter, and that they conceived her after the aliens had left. I thought that was pretty cool.
The very last line was awesome, too. But I would have liked to know more about the aliens.
Anyway, I am looking forward to Arrival, and I am definitely going to see it.