Successful colonies among the stars require interstellar ships—but they require, also, a very special kind of man. A kind you might not think to look for....
nced at the huge pig and smiled. Aaron relaxed a bit. The Islamic interdict on swine had been shed by the Murnans when they'd become apostates, just as Colonial Survey had guessed.
Stoltzfoos' Hausa, learned at the Homestead School at Georgetown University, proved adequate to its first challenge in the field, though he discovered, with every experimenter in a new language, that his most useful phrase was magana sanoo-sanoo: "please speak slowly." Aaron let the Chief commence the desultory conversation that would precede talk of consequence. Martha, ignored by the men, sat on the edge of the bed, reading the big German-language Bible. Aaron and Kazunzumi sang on in the heathen tongue about weather, beasts, and field-crops.
The Sarki leaned forward to examine Aaron's beard and shaven upper lip, once; and smiled. The Murnan does not wear such. He looked at Martha more casually now, seeing that the husband was not disgraced by his wife's naked face; and remarked on the whiteness of her skin
A very well-done, imaginative, clash-of-cultures story. The characters are clearly drawn and likeable, the plot (homesteading on another world) interesting. The cultures involved are both human: Amish settlers taking up vacant land for farming among liberal Islamic subsistence farmers.
One of the more unusual stories I've read in a long time; good writing.
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