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I finally got to read Aliette de Bodard's Immersion, a short story that won the Nebula and the Locus awards and was nominated to the Hugo and BSFA. Ever since I heard of it I've been willing to check it out and kept a tab in Chrome with Clarkesworld where it was initially published. I found out it was also available in audio version, so I decided to listen and share it with a friend. Though the reader's interpretation wasn't particularly to my liking, I ended up really enjoying the story.
Without revealing too much and spoiling it, it's enough to say Immersion is a quite interesting exploration of the interaction between cultures when one of them is dominant and of how it can aggravate problems such as prejudice or need for acceptance and more so if people start considering its only natural to assimilate the dominant culture. In this story the issue is addressed through a machine that allows not only to automatically translate language but also to completely transform a person into what is expected in the culture that created it.
With this short tale, Aliette de Bodard makes us think on multiple problems that our civilization is going through right now and with which we must deal with in the best way, such as the assimilation of american culture by most developed countries - for example through cinema and literature with massive marketing - the confusion in Europe between belonging to the European Union and obedience to the decisions made by the economically dominant countries, the communication through social networks that not only give us false avatars but also define the ways we communicate - for example, the absence of intentional silence: or you comment a post or no one knows that you read it and decided to ignore it - or the limitation that one can feel when adapting to another culture - how can a person express herself fully, actually be her real self, when using a different language, in different daily situations, with different traditions and interpretations and how can that person recognize herself after a long period holding this culturally accepted avatar?
I can't recommend Immersion enough and I'm now looking forward to reading more from this author.