All The Painted Stars, a short story by Gwendolyn Clare, is about an alien that gets roped into helping some humans travel to the home planet of an extinct species.
NON SPOILER SUMMARY
Ohree, a sort of deep space policeman, is patrolling the borders when he sees a vessel of an extinct species being attacked. He decides to step in, and by doing so, not only does he dramatically change the fate of the survivors, he alters his own destiny.
Wow this was an amazing story! The main character Ohree was fascinating, a shapeshifter of sorts, and as the story was told from his point of view it was fun to feel his tentacles change into legs, and suffer his pain as he grew a pair of lungs. He interphases with the ship and downloads knowledge from the database. But what was more appealing to me was the growth and change he made in his personal journey, the realizations he came to about himself and his own path in life. All The Painted Stars is definitely one of the best science fiction short stories I have read!
- Word Count: 6,529
- Page Count: 15
- Published: 2012
- About the Author: Gwendolyn Clare has a BA in Ecology and a BS in Geophysics. She also has quite a list of short stories and poetry available on her website.
WHERE TO FIND THIS STORY
You can read All The Painted Stars for free at Clarkesworld Magazine.