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Strangers Mass Market Paperback – 1978
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Although Dozois does attempt to portray the alien and her planet as truly alien, it comes off more as an American male who has fallen in love with someone in Russia or Japan. There are many subtle differences between cultures of different countries and for someone foreign to a country for an extended time, those differences can be astonishing, bewildering, and frustrating. Add to that an emotional experience of an relationship then those differences can become more pronounced.
The downside of this novel is that it's deeply sad. Published in 1978, it can be considered a novel of it's time, such as Gregory Benford's The Stars in Shroud also published in 1978, that has this deep fatalistic tone throughout. It's a few years after the loss of the Vietnam War, there's a simultaneous economic hyperinflation and recession at the same time, one of the first's in US history, with no precedent on how to react to it, there's an oil shortage, it's during the time of ecological shambles with such events as the Cleveland River catching fire, and is a few years before the optimism of Reagan. So the hopelessness of the times permeates throughout the novel. The upside is if the theme interests you, it can be read quickly as it's a short novel at 166 pages.
This all changes when a human falls in love with one of their women, and finds out that their evolution and reproduction has a great cost.
A reasonable, short, and dark toned book.