What better way than to start the new year with a new story by Peter Watts, Things, which is a loving tribute to The Thing (whether it’s actually to the movie, Campell’s story or both I don’t know, as it has been eons since I read the latter). It’s a recount of the events from the perspective of the alien, a sort of reverse first contact that shows Watts incredible skill in writing truly alien aliens. Written in first person, it drags you into the perspective of the thing and makes for an intense experience. But unlike the story from the human side it’s not merely about survival this time, but true understanding. Illumination is hard to come by when experience can’t help and you have to overcome your own mental limitations. The end is typical Watts stuff, refreshing if you like a cold shower.
It’s also not the first time Watts has shown his fascination with The Thing, read his essay on cancer for the greater good for some interesting points.