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Asymmetrical Warfare

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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Published March 26th 2015 by Nature

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Review first posted at, in the Short Fiction Monday feature:

As I perused the list of Hugo award nominees, I was one of those disheartened to see that the Rabid Puppies slate swept the short story category. Of those nominees, this is the only one available free online that appears to be legitimate speculative fiction. It has garnered some positive reviews, so I read it to whether the cream of the Puppies’ chosen crop has any real merit.

“Asymmetrical warfare” is told from
Althea Ann
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Extremely short, but clever and interesting story. As with all of the journal Nature's fiction offerings, it has a focus on a scientific 'what-if.' Here, that question is: "What if Earth was invaded by aliens whose biology was more similar to that of starfish than that of homo sapiens?"

The answers - and the misconceptions that they end up acting from - are horrifying, amusing, and all-too-logical.

It's also nice to see an alien invasion story from the point of view of the aliens.

The story is
 Ariadne Oliver
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: phantastik
An invasion story told from the point of view of the aliens - who are quite different from humans.

Read it for free here:
Jun 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, sci-fi-awards
I read this as part of my 2016 Hugo Awards nominees reading marathon. This extremely short story is the diary written by the commander of an alien species invading Earth. Each entry describes, day by day, the progress of the invasion. The story details the increasing confusion and puzzlement of the alien forces when faced with the biologic differences of homo sapiens.
I found particularly interesting the stellate race attempts to make sense of humans in terms of their alien stellate biology, and
james wells
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
short, a little funny, but an ok story.
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shorts
This short story is narrated by a commander of alien invaders who have besieged the earth. There biology is so different from that of humans that they do not understand how we live, die and fight. It was really interesting and thought provoking premise.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: short-stories
Read as part of my Hugo reading for this year.

Pretty unremarkable humorous SF short with a central idea that's clever enough but doesn't bear much weight. Wisely, therefore, the story is kept very brief.

It's presented in the form of a report from an alien commander leading an invasion of Earth, the central joke being that they're from a race of starfish and are confused that humans don't regenerate. The humour is on the 'occasional wry smile' level, not the 'chuckling aloud' level, and short
Igor Chertkov
Aug 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Well, there are "improbable premises", the "what ifs" which I learned to accept, reading a sci-fi story, and there are "impossible/stupid/unrealistic" behaviors, which repulse me.
Unfortunately, this particular story is a mixture of both.
Earth being invaded by a much more advanced alien species, that just happened to be more starfish-like in biology? Sure, why not - let's accept the premise.
This super-advanced civilization being so oblivious about the biology, that they just assume humans would
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: hugos-2016
Read for the 2016 Hugos

I'm writing this review several days after I read the story, and I can't seem to remember too much about it. I guess that says something, in and of itself.

It's a look at Earth from the point of view of an invading species. The invaders discover that humans are nothing like they expected. It's hard to tell if it's a positive or negative view of humanity, though. Not bad, just not fulfilling.
William Tracy
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Read for 2016 Hugos:
This was an interesting short story about a certain type of beings invading Earth and trying to figure out how Humans work. Any more would spoil it, but it was a pretty good read.
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-hugos, sf-f
Since I am short on time, I'm debating reading the Rabid Puppy nominations from Castalia House. Those were disappointing last year. I'm glad I read Asymmetrical Warfare (from Nature magazine), but I'm on the fence on whether to give it three or four stars.
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Hugo 2016 nomination.
Fantasy Literature
Featured in our Short Fiction Monday column.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sff, short-stories
It's not that this was bad -- it just wasn't a complete story. Like, this was interesting, and it was a fun idea, but the actual story part is something you kind of have to imagine for yourself.
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Perfect example of speculative scifi short story writing. This is a 'stellar' example of how to write from an alien perspective as well. It's short and well done.
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Different enough to be interesting.
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Rather amusing. A short, funny read. Is available for free online for those who might want a taste of this year's Hugo nominees (is part of the Rabid Puppy slate though).
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This short story takes a look at an invasion of Earth from an alien's perspective. I like the alien's indeed alien perspective, and the story's insight on how human's fight war.
rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2016
Niranjan Dalaya
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Sep 13, 2018
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May 01, 2016
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Aug 21, 2016
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Jun 20, 2016
rated it it was ok
Jun 30, 2016
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Jun 20, 2016
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Aug 08, 2016
Chandra Kanth
rated it it was ok
Aug 30, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2016
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