Petra and the Blue Goo is a look at what happens when alien cultures are pitted against each other to compete in a scavenger hunt with questionable rules. We see a librarian intent on saving her books who doesn’t trust any of the alien species to respect the sanctity of her historical objects. The story is a big comedy of errors, with enemies trying to steal the library’s books from their designated shelves. It’s a fun story about interacting with other species and can also be seen as a guide on how not to cordially communicate with aliens.
I loved that the story felt so high-stakes, almost like an Indiana Jones-type mission to save the books from dirty hands. She flies through the library, encountering multiple foes, racing toward a distant alarm, and ultimately shutting the building down. She takes her job as seriously as possible, willing to risk even that to save her precious books. This is a classic tale of miscommunication where nobody involved handled the situation well.
Overall, Petra and the Blue Goo is a funny diversion, giving us a high stakes scavenger hunt and the chance to met a few new alien species. Hopefully humanity will react better to our alien brethren when that time inevitably comes.
Petra and the Blue Goo
Written by Kristine Kathryn Rusch