I'm trying to remember the name and author of a short SF story that is very similar to "The story of your life" but either is not that story or it's a different version of that story.

In this story main character is a woman and these aliens come to earth and give humans a kind of ultimatum where they have to learn to communicate with a third alien they brought with them and also this third alien is the last of its kind which I think you only find out later in the story.

Also they talk about logograms and there are some printed logograms in the story itself.

Near the end of the story the woman finally learns to communicate with the alien using like body language and emotion - I distinctly recall at one point she shakes her fists or something and says something like "see my hate" and does other body language/emotions.

1 Answer 1


It could be Frank Herbert's Try To Remember, which featured aliens trying to teach us to communicate with them, with failure to do so resulting in annihilation. Despite having footage of the aliens, no one can figure out how to properly communicate with them, until one woman discovers that their language involved not only speech patterns, but a sort of "interpretive dance" of body language.

From Goodreads:

The science language—an overly-neglected field for the extrapolations science-fiction—is put brilliant use in this powerful story. Against a background ultimate peril from a galactic invader, man (in this case, woman) back beyond Babel to recall for humanity the places the soul, where words are not enough.

Would the similarity between the gestures of an Arab dancer and those of the dread Galactic invaders help to break the communication barrier before it was too late?

Here's the "See My Hate" paragraph:

“No!" she screamed. She surged to her feet, shook a fist at the ship. "Here's one who didn't fail! I know what you meant!" She shook both fists at the ship. "See my hate!"


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