2 journalers for this copy...
Later: While I appreciated the attempt to theme these stories on the traits that might make humans more helpful to the rest of the universe than in typical tales (where we wittingly or unwittingly wreak havoc everywhere), I'm not sure that all the stories carried out the concept equally well. I did enjoy most of them, though, especially:
Jody Lynn Nye's "Sidekick," in part because I've always had a soft spot for a good sidekick (human or otherwise).
"The Dowager" by Richard A. Becker is one of the more problematic ones for me, as it depicts the human character as making-the-best-of-slavery, but it also has such an intriguing setup and unusual viewpoint that I give it a thumbs up.
"New Union Requirement" by Gwendolynn Thomas made me laugh out loud more than once - it takes the premise and runs with it, making the in-universe belief in the almost-mystical ability of humans to pull miracles out of their asses in tough situations a factor in insurance premiums (!). Love it!
"Brightened Star, Ascending Dawn" by A. Merc Rustad has a sentient-ship adopting a young human stowaway - with intriguing ramifications. Very sweet!
WILD RELEASE NOTES: