I’m just amazed at how good the stories are in the Year’s Best SF 11.
MacLeod gives us a glimpse into the future of evangelism. Rev. Donald MacIntyre number had come up. He did not fight it. Instead he knew that he had been called by God to serve as Chaplin on the EU Military Outpost that served as the point of first contact with non-human life. This was Rev. MacIntyre’s opportunity to bring the good news to and entirely different species.
Rev. MacIntyre has set his eyes on the mycoids, intelligent fungus. Scientists work round the clock trying to communicate with using encoded amino acids filled capsules. These scientists have had very little success getting more than basic semi-intelligible responses. The Rev. has encoded his own capsule. However, there are those that would stop him from tainting this first contact with religious bias.
The writing in “A Case of Consilience” is wonderfully detailed and the dialogue strong and believable. MacLeod is another example of a science fiction author that can take us into bizarre unknown and still make a reader feel completely grounded and at home. This is a talent that I hope I can one day fully emulate. MacLeod accomplishes this reality based grounding through familiar scenes in bars, office politics, and through Rev. MacIntrye’s struggle to fulfill what he believes to be his highest calling.
MacLeod, Ken. “A Case of Consilience.” Year’s Best SF 11. Ed. David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. New York: EOS, 2006. p. 59-72