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The Dolphin by Colin Barrett

Author's Description:
It's been said that there are two intelligent species inhabiting the Earth, humans and dolphins, but intelligent in very different ways. But suppose they could actually communicate with each other? How would they interact? That's the goal of marine biologist Maggie Russell, who starts her quest with but a single captive dolphin. Then a second dolphin mysteriously appears, and things suddenly get complicated, first professionally and then in her personal life.
Size: 359 KB ( ~ 68,077 words)
Genre: Science Fiction
Sex Contents: Minimal Sex
Tags: Ma/Fa, Consensual, Heterosexual, Fiction, Science Fiction

Review by ausie-import   [other reviews by ausie-import]

Reviewed: 2017-11-02


I'm going on memory from a couple of years ago, at least, in this, so it's going to be fairly general. But that's OK -- no spoilers.

What if dolphins really were human level inteligent -- or smarter? But communication underwater cannot possibly work the same way that communication in air does. So how *do* they communicate?

And one of the key criteria that anthropologists use in evaluating human societies is the artifacts that they create. But that doesn't work when the inteligent species in question has not hands with opposable thumbs. Looking at the aboriginal Australians, there was a culture that actively manipulated the ecology of the continent to provide the people with food and other necessities of life.

So, how do we communicate with others who are so different?

This is the question that Colin is asking and trying to answer.

I think that he does an excellent job of both defining the question and presenting an answer.

OK, let's be clear, there is bugger-all sex in this story. But, hey, this is Stories On-Line, not "Wank-a-Rama". There can be good stories with minimal to no explicit sex, and this is a prime example. A well thought out and plotted look at a question that is being asked by some genuinely serious scientists. The answers are more on the order of "what-ifs" than scientific fact, but good science fiction has been doing that for longer than I've been alive.

This is well worth reading -- just park your expectation of steamy sex scenes and you may find it more than a little enjoyable.

Plot: 10 | Technical Quality: 9 | Appeal to Reviewer: 10