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Friday, April 12, 2013

"A Saucer of Loneliness" by Theodore Sturgeon

Available here. This was also made into an equally moving radio play for X Minus One.

Samuel Delany wrote in his introduction to Sturgeon, "One of Theodore Sturgeon's themes is love."  That's nowhere more apparent than in "A Saucer of Loneliness."

A young man stops a young woman from committing suicide.  She is not grateful, but she does tell her story.  She is the woman to whom the small flying saucer spoke.  The government hounds her, but she won't tell.  Her mother is embarrassed and shuns the young woman.  Wherever she works--in a diner or as a maid--she is hounded by men who pretend to be interested in her just to get the story from her.  Finally, she has been throwing bottled messages out to sea.  It turns out the narrator, a flawed man himself with a club foot, had found one and sought her for two years.  He knows just what the alien message.

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