In “A Bitter Thing” by N.R.M. Roshak, an interstellar traveler seems to fall for Ami the moment he sees her. But is it love at first sight, or something far more alien?
With as hard as it is to effectively convey the complexity of emotion, and how easily humans misinterpret emotions, for this story to absolutely nail that conflict but between an alien and a human, is simply masterful.
Jazmen Richardson uses the striking image of a young woman to grab our attention, but it’s the details that captures so much of the story’s subtlety. The woman’s body language, the hexagonal shape the shrouded figure is offering, the color of her eyes, it all sums up the story perfectly.