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Title: Planet Lion

Author: Catherynne M. Valente

Published: Uncanny Magazine May/June 2015

Description, by Lois Tilton [Locus]: "A military survey vessel happens on a planetary system with a single Earthlike world and a host of gas giants—nothing of great economic value. Certain officers, however, consider it of significant strategic value, and they set up an outpost intended to draw out the enemy, staffing it with disposable organic constructs modeled on actual troops. The constructs were designed to operate telepathically through a mental matrix; on devouring them, the native carnivores, called lions, absorb the matrix as well as elements of the human personalities they were modeled on. The text includes several short reports from the humans involved in the ensuing disaster, but the main narrative belongs to the lions, and we see these events from the lions’ point of view. This results in confusion, since the lions, understandably, don’t comprehend the strategic motives of the humans, and they interpret the consequences in their own terms. "

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