Carol for Mixed Voices
by Madeleine Rose Reardon Dimond
Strange Horizons: Original Part 1 • Part 2
Kindle-friendly ((The Kindle-friendly version is NOT hosted on my site; this is a CGI script that filters the more annoying framing HTML from the story text. You can still save the filtered HTML and convert it for your Kindle (with some help from Amazon). And remember, don’t distribute this thing.))
A near-future science fiction tale where the President of the United States still takes after President Bush (this story happens to have been written back in 2001).
Imagine President Bush speaking to aliens. No, imagine him having already spoken to the aliens, in an atonal language, where he’s just insulted and threatened them, we assume by accident.
First Contact team specialist Marley must use all her wits to save the country’s face, not to mention the world.
Madeleine Rose Reardon Dimond also wrote another, quite different holiday SF story for Strange Horizons, “War of the Lights”, which starts out with:
The Christmas season was already off to a bad start when a spaceship landed on top of my house. I hate it when that happens.
I was dragging my tail home in the single-digit morning hours, having just played a double set in a joint where I wouldn’t be caught dead. As usual, I was ruminating over why the audience thought I should be playing Tejano or mariachi — and wondering if either or both would help my career. I was also trying to ignore the Santa sleigh drawn by pink flamingos and the nativity with Blessed Virgin Britney Spears and ‘N Sync Wise Men.
Nested on my roof was a metallic ovoid that spanned the width of my house. It pulsed a rotating rainbow of colors.
This story is based on a song by the Therapy Sisters: