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Tendeleo’s Story: One of the Most Imaginative Scifi Pieces That You Won't Be Able To Put Down.

Updated on June 12, 2022

Tendeleos's Story by Ian McDonald

Today I return to my science fiction short story collection. And because I’m indecisive and incredibly unorganized, I chose to read a tale at random. The tale is Tendeleo’s story by Ian McDonald.

So what is it about? In short, it’s an alien invasion tale, but one of the most imaginative ones I’ve ever read. It takes place in Africa. In central Africa, odd clouds came into our atmosphere from space and these clouds rained spores that begin to grow out of the Earth as a coral reef like structure creating a new landscape and bringing about a whole new eco system. The tale is told through the eyes of Tendeleo, a pastor’s daughter in the Kenyan village of Gichichi. The story follows this girl as she grows up as this constant threat grows. The villagers call it the Chaga and it slowly devours everything she knows. It begins with the tales from refugees, then evolves into her efforts to learn more about the Chaga, the fight for her life from it and the effects it has on her life.

So the good? Can we just say the setting and perspective here is brilliant. Being told from the point of view of an African Christian village made it so different and gave the story so much originality. The Chaga was interesting as well. It’s not portrayed as a monster but an ecosystem spreading throughout the tropical zones of Earth. It was something that didn’t feel like a villain but at the same time promoted fear because it was so unknown. Also this story hits so many layers. It’s about Tendeleo’s father’s loss of faith. It’s about Tendeleo’s loss of innocence. Its about the eventual discovery of what the Chaga is and dealing with the slow and painful loss of everything Teneldeo had. From the arguments with her best friend, to questioning her faith in God, to finding her eventual place in the world, Tendeleo’s story is amazing. It’s so raw and wonderful.

The bad? Though this is a very meaty short ranging about seventy pages in length. I was surprised some scenes seemed a little rushed especially toward the end. Also in the last twenty pages, the perspective switches to the point of view of her boyfriend. Seeing how I fell in low with Tendeleo’s character up to that point, I was quite disappointed. I mean I couldn’t care less about the new guy. It was just jarring and unneeded. I felt it should have follow our leading lady all the way through.

Overall, this is a great piece. I have never read anything like it before. I’m compelled to google the author to see what else he wrote because this was so darn good. I recommend it to everyone. Now go read it.

F smoothies out of Five

Overall Rating: One of the most imaginative scifi pieces that you won't be able to put down.

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