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A couple years ago I read a short story set on/in a gas giant. The main character and narrator is an alien who flies a one man ship. He and the other males fly around and gather supplies and ultimately bring them back to the females. The females are giant flying whale/manta ray like creatures. If the males perform well, then they get to mate. This entails attaching to the stomach of a female and eventually getting absorbed like angler fish. The main character eventually finds a space craft (presumably human) and rescues it knowing it will give him the opportunity to mate. I can't find the story, and I would like to reread it.

  • Manta ray like aliens living in a gas giant remind me of the Dwellers from The Algebraist, but the plot does not match. – Raj Mar 27 at 13:38
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I'm fairly sure you're describing The Deeps of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear (link goes to the full story).

Elements which match your description:

  • Main character is an alien who flies a one-man ship
  • He's gathering resources for a large female ship he hopes to mate with
  • He finds a human craft and makes contact
  • At the end, he gets to merge with the large female ship
  • This answer would be improved by explaining why you believe that. – Arcanist Lupus Mar 31 at 1:00

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