From Stars They Fell by H.R. Harrison

From Stars They Fell by H.R. Harrison
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (81 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

An alien ship crash lands on Earth, leaving its only occupant stranded. But in a fortunate twist, Earth is a hospitable planet for Veni, from the atmosphere and food to the friendly and intelligent inhabitants.

The first such inhabitants Veni meets call themselves dwarves. And though they don’t understand the technology that brought the alien to them, they insist on being hospitable. Sure, Veni doesn’t understand why the inhabitants of this land insist on speaking a language that modifies for gender, but ze is anything if not adaptable—especially after ze meets Wystan, a man who speaks only with his hands.

Anything can happen on a strange, unfamiliar planet.

Veni’s reaction to the social customs on Earth was by far my favorite part of this book. This character grew up on a world where gender is irrelevant to one’s daily life. It was amusing to see how Veni reacted to the even mild divisions of everything from clothing to occupation based on an individual’s gender. Reading these passages truly made me feel as though I were observing human and dwarf cultures from an alien perspective. They were really well done.

There were a few small pacing issues at the end due to how closely certain subplots had been linked together. It wasn’t rushed. This section just didn’t quite match the leisurely pace of the beginning. Either choice would have worked wonderfully for this tale, but including both of them made for a slightly uneasy transition to the final scenes. With that being said, this was still something I was incredibly glad to read, and it was only a minor bump along the way.

This was such a beautifully descriptive story. Everything from how Veni’s wings shimmered to all of the steps dwarves must go through to mine precious metals were described so vividly that I never wanted to stop reading. Ms. Harrison’s writing style is incredibly smooth. Some of her metaphors were almost poetic in nature, which only made her descriptions of what was happening her characters even more fascinating than they already were.

From Stars They Fell is a great choice for anyone who enjoys mixing science fiction with fantasy themes.

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