Two scientists are stationed in Antarctica. The narrator is a SF reader, the other a bizarre weirdo who tries to solve Fermi’s paradox – which says that we should have witnessed alien civilizations – using Kantian conceptualism as a basis: you have to change your way of thinking to detect aliens. Both suffer from isolationism and don’t get along well. It ends in a psychedelic first contact which might have sprung from the scientists‘ half-mad imagination, citing Carpenter’s „The Thing“.
This novelette seems to be the core of Robert’s coming up novel The Thing itself. I found the philosophical discussion interesting, and the idea to combine it with Fermi’s paradox very nice, but a bit too heavy-handed. The story centers around that idea, disregarding characters and plot.