I love the way Science Fiction can make us imagine different ways of being, in different worlds, for example, Ursula Le Guin’s world where people are either male or female at different times, and sexually undifferentiated and uninterested in between.

Now imagine the Enterprise lands on a planet where the inhabitants do not speak with sound waves but are intelligent and  social and do communicate. Did you think “telepaths?”

Try again. The planet is Earth and the language is Sign, especially, in this book (Seeing Voices, by Oliver Sacks,) ASL, though other Sign languages are covered too. Many people thought and many probably still think that Sign languages are purely mime and gesture and incapable of abstraction and subtlety, but they are full languages, able to express scientific, mathematical, poetic thoughts and the full range of language.

Oliver Sacks of course deals with neurology, and even though this book…

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