(Note: This is the latest in an ongoing series of posts where I review as many of the 2015 Hugo nominees in the time I have left before the July 31 deadline, and explain why I will or will not vote for them.)
This story is a little more like the Analog I remember. It's an old-fashioned first-contact story (the subtitle, "A Golden Age Tale," is something of a dead giveaway) with a fairly interesting alien species and a clever method of solving the problem, based on "an old Persian fable" the protagonist heard as a child. That protagonist, Emily Asari, is actually the most compelling thing about the story; instead of being the cliched hardnosed kickass heroine, this is an ordinary, not overly brave person who observes, and thinks, and eventually figures things out.
Having said that, there's really nothing all that memorable about this story. It certainly didn't knock my socks off the way "Earth to Alluvium" did. The writing is competent (although the author does tend to info-dump a bit) and the characterization adequate. However, I think Hugos should be awarded to something a bit more memorable than "adequate." Until I finish the category, "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, Earth to Alluvium" remains the frontrunner.