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29 January 2023

The Mountain in the Sea, by Ray Nayler

This is a fun new novel. Like Ted Chiang’s Arrival or Carl Sagan’s Contact, it’s a “first contact” story, except the alien intelligence is homegrown: a newly-evolved species of octopus living in waters of the Con Dao archipelago in near-future Vietnam. How do they think, given their radically different bodies, environments, and umwelt? Many of the things I’ve been reading over the past few years (Ed Yong’s An Immense World, …


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