This current featured story is "Sheena 5" by Stephen Baxter, which stars a squid with enhanced intelligence working for NASA.
Go read the whole story.
It came after the kill.
The night was over. The sun, a fat ball of light, was already glimmering above the water surface.
The squid emerged from the grasses and corals where they had been feeding. Shoals formed in small groups and clusters, eventually combining into a community a hundred strong.
Court me. Court me.
See my weapons!
I am strong and fierce.
Stay away! Stay away! She is mine! ...
It was the ancient cephalopod language, a language of complex skin patterns, body posture, texture, words of sex and danger and food; and Sheena shoaled and sang with joy.
... But there was a shadow on the water.
It's not obvious from it's face, but Talking Squids in Outer Space is a subsite of SF writer Vonda McIntyre's official web site. It looks like she has another cool hobby, in addition to creating bead creatures. Her Nebula-winning novel,The Moon and the Sun, features giant octopuses. From the epilogue:
The sea people stalked the ships. Soon they swam beneath the barnacled bottom of the pursuer. Sherzad sang at it, feeling it out with her voice, searching and questioning, finding nothing of interest and nothing worth saving. In the past, she would have swum away.Cephalopods and sea people working together in harmony. Beautiful.
She gave her baby to her young brother to guard, and swam closer to the pursuer.
Sherzad and her companions plunged their spears of narwhal tusk into the bottom of the galleon. The ivory bit into the wood. Holding the tusks, they rode along with the ship.
Sherzad shouted at the planks. Her focused voice crashed into the wood. She shouted again. Her spear quivered in the quaking wood. Sherzad and her brothers and sisters shouted together. The wood cracked and split.
The bottom of the ship disintegrated. Men shrieked and dove into the water. Sherzad and the others made sure they never surfaced.
Waves washed over the deck. Singing their triumph, the sea people called their allies. A shadow rose, flickering all over with tiny sparks. The octopus stretched its tentacles into the moonlight and entwined them around the mainmast, and inexorably pulled the ship into the depths.
And if you love squids and science fiction, you'll definitely want to get the SFWA "Squid Happens" T-shirt for your wardrobe. Proceeds go to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Emergency Medical Fund.
Image source: Squid with eggs @ NOAA.gov
Tags:science fiction, biology, squids, cephalopods, Stephen Baxter, Vonda McIntyre