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Beauty and the Beast

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“Beauty and the Beast” written by Henry Kuttner is about an alien life form that hatches on Earth.  As he grows, the beast realizes he has some important information to give to humans.  But since there is a language barrier and a fear factor, will he live long enough to share his vital knowledge? 

NON SPOILER SUMMARY

A greedy man discovers an alien “egg” on a crashed spaceship.  He takes it for himself, along with some flower seeds, to see if he can make a profit from either.  The seeds grow into beautiful flowers that he immediately makes a fortune with.  The egg produces a little lizard that quickly grows into a big lizard, and before long is a gargantuan reptile akin to a dinosaur.  This “beast” is ugly and scary, but respects life here on Earth, and has a very important message to deliver.  However, he may not get the chance to pass on the information before the humans kill him.

MY THOUGHTS

I enjoyed the story, especially as it was mostly from the alien’s point of view.  It was an entertaining struggle in his mind, as he tries to remember life on Venus, and tries to communicate with the humans, who always misinterpret his intentions and think he is attacking them.  It was written in a very simple manner, at times reminding me of a children’s story.  Some typographical errors were a minor annoyance, but easily overlooked because my interest was held by the great storyline.  Oh, and can you say “IRONY”?  Yes, irony is always a great way to end a story.

INTERESTING TIDBITS

  • Word Count: 5760
  • Page Count: 14
  • Published: 1940
  • “Beauty and the Beast” won a handful of awards back in the 40’s.
  • Henry Kuttner and his wife C.L. Moore were avid writers, and known for co-writing to the point that, often neither one could remember who wrote what part of a story.  Read more about Henry Kuttner at Fantastic Fiction or at Wikipedia.  Many hold the opinion that he was one of the groundbreaking science fiction authors of his day.

WHERE TO FIND THIS STORY

Read this story for free at Bravehost.