When dealing with a new alien species, even a small misunderstanding can be lethal. First contact specialist Father John Cardinale thinks he understands the question posed to him by Bakra-Third-Singer of Tales--but he's wrong. By the time he REALLY understands, it's much, much too late. This compelling story, in the tradition of James Blish's A CASE OF CONSCIENCE, will take the reader to the frontiers of science--and explore a potential flaw in the Christian concept of free will.
Steven Mohan, Jr. has published scores of short stories in markets as diverse as INTERZONE, POLYPHONY, and PARADOX, as well as several DAW original anthologies. His short fiction has won honorable mention in THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION and THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR.