Sunday, November 6, 2016

On Darwin Tides, by Shauna O'Meara

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(Climate Change) In 2048, things are bad in Malaysia, especially for young refugees with no papers. Maslinia is sure she could be successful, if she could only get a break. (5,120 words; Time: 17m)

Rating: ★★★★☆ Recommended

"," by (edited by Manjana Milkoreit, Meredith Martinez and Joey Eschrich), appeared in (RSR review), published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The story is Maslina's victory over her circumstances, and the story does an excellent job of making it clear just how bad those circumstances are. Her victory is sweet because she earned it. She attracted the attention of the NGO woman because she saved a tourist from eating poisoned shellfish. She impressed the NGO woman with her knowledge of English and science. So when she had to flee, the woman was motivated to do something for her. Even so, it wasn't charity; she simply sold the mats to her coworkers, but the mats themselves were Maslina's hard work. Best of all, it proves she was right about being adaptable.

The story sets all of this up very well. We know how much work the mats were when we see how crushed she is at their loss. We know how much she and Tadi mean to each other from the way they interact, which adds a lot of tension to the story when he sails into harm's way.

Con: The tension from waiting for Tadi to return--if he returns alive at all--is not released. We lack Maslina's faith that one bit of good luck guarantees another. We wonder a bit at what possessed the NGO woman to sell the mats when she didn't know who the girl was or if she'd ever come by.

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