Previously published in Analog magazine, Sept/Oct 2022!
Jeffrey just wants to have a good time, drinking and partying in the
human zone near the city of the low-tech, insectoid aliens native to the
His dad disapproves his lifestyle, but the old man is willing to pay
for it. As long as Jeffrey transmits amateur xenology videos home every
Jeffrey gets along fine with the Valodurians. Sure, they all look
alike to him, but humans all look the same to them, right? They give him
gifts. They don’t even care he can’t tell a religious icon from a sex
toy, or a brimless hat from a floppy drinking cup.
Now, if only Jeffrey could tell what one particular Valodurian, with
unreadable eyes and sharp mouthparts, wants when it asks him to
Return Blessing is set in The Consortia, the same universe as novel Azureseas: Cantrell’s War.