"To Bell the Cat" by Joan Vinge: An Appreciation by Sarah Prineas
It's also a very moving story about a lost man who manages to find himself, or perhaps the self he has become, through an act of hope in the midst of devastating hopelessness.
And this is also a skiffy story about first-contact and cute scaly aliens.
Thanks, Ellen, for giving this reader the chance to read a story she would otherwise have missed.
Link to story.