I really must say that I am in awe of the stories coming out of Daily Science Fiction. They've done it again with "Tomorrow's Dawn," by Milo James Fowler. Read it here.
SPOILERS FOLLOW, read the story first!
To me, this story feels like a Golden-Age science fiction tale, '50s or '60s era, but with a definite modern twist. It has that cold-war era sensibility but the alien is not cast as a Soviet spy, as it would have been at that time, but as a potential suicide bomber. If you've read any number of my other blog posts you know that this is exactly the type of story I love: one in which a failure of one group to treat another group with dignity and respect results in death and misery. Retaliations are made and the animosity escalates until one group can only see the other cast in that negative light.
Fowler does a good job of making the situation presented in the story feel tense and immediate. And he doesn't tip his hand one bit, making the ending a genuine surprise. It is also a hopeful ending and it, along with Fowler's story of how the idea developed, keeps me hoping and believing that people, independent of societal, religious or ethnic pressures, would choose to live in harmony. We have transcended our primitive, animalistic nature in so many other ways. Why not in this way as well?