Tuesday, August 15, 2017

These Constellations Will Be Yours , by Elaine Cuyegkeng

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(Space Opera) The empire “harvests” psionics and integrates them into their FTL starships. A starship content with her lot foresees a violent future when she recounts her story to a girl reluctant to be harvested. (4,961 words; Time: 16m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"," by (edited by Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde), appeared in issue 08/07/17, published on .

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

Pro: There’s a lot packed into this story of subjugation, revolution, and redemption. At the end, it seems that the narrator gets to return to life as a normal human being, and the whole system is brought to an end.

There are lots of allusions to racism South-American-style, which revolves are indios (natives), whites, and mestizos (people of mixed descent).

The revolution at the end is not a complete surprise. We know that the narrator indulges in petty acts of disobedience, and we also know that all precognitives see the tower in flames. This anticipation adds a nice bit of tension to the story.

Con: The characters are almost completely undeveloped. Much of the narration is devoted to infodumps. The story takes a long time to get going.

The science is bad. For example, constellations are not groups of stars that are near one another; they only seem to be. One doesn’t expect much science in a space opera story, but it’s bad to bring it up and have it be wrong.

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Given the author's background, I imagine the world-building reflects Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, rather than Latin America. References to being the Pearl of the Empire and trading silk gave me that impression too.