“Think Like A Dinosaur”, by James Patrick Kelly
“Think Like A Dinosaur” is a 1995 science fiction novelette by James Patrick Kelly. It was nominated for the Hugo for Best Short Story of 1996, and won.
“Think Like A Dinosaur” is the story of a man who is helping a woman through the difficult process of teleporting to the stars, and the conflict between his humanity and the . . . dinosaurity of the aliens who actually control this gateway to the universe. And they haven’t decided it we should have it yet, because we don’t think like them.
Why should you read it?
The old Campbell chestnut: “Write me an alien who thinks as well as a man, but not like a man.” What if the price for humanity joining aliens in the stars. . . is thinking like them? What do we give up by changing ourselves to match the way they think? Would it be an individual decision? An offer that can be accepted by one person alone? Or would it be forced on the unwary by others? And what’s left of the core of humanity inside a person once they’ve looked at this change?
This is an amazingly good story that I am hampered in recommending because I can’t answer any of these questions for you. If you can, read it. I have rated over a thousand stories in my database; this got the thirteenth 10 out of 10.
Where to find “Think Like a Dinosaur”
There is no free online version. [UPDATE: there is! It’s at Mike Resnick’s new Galaxy’s Edge!] The story can be found in several anthologies. There is an audio version available online, which I have not listened to.