The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist
By S.L. Huang
The Earth is populated by two sentient species who share it: humans on the land’s crust, and the atargati in the deep abysses of the ocean.
Dr. Cadence Mbella is the foremost human researcher studying the mysterious atargati, intent on proving to the rest of the human world that they are a complex society deserving of respect–not the overly-romanticized “mermaids” some would like to imagine.
When Cadence discovers, to her horror, that her own superiors are conducting an unethical experiment on an atargati subject, she sacrifices everything to enact a rescue. Once the atargati is safe back in the deep sea, Cadence goes on the run, a fugitive from the law with her career burned behind her. But she can’t stop thinking about her lifelong research, and she yearns to find a way to return to the ocean’s abysses. Not to mention that the atargati she saved keeps haunting her dreams . . .
Longlisted for the 2017 Tiptree award, “The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist” is a dark, queer science fiction retelling of “The Little Mermaid” about a human who gives up her voice to join the sea.
“Elegantly depressing… extremely well done” – Tor.com
“Love, transformation, darkness, pain, and voice all percolate through the piece… The character work is great and the story flows with emotion and yearning and pain and hope.” – Quick Sip Reviews