Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Starship and the Temple Cat, by Yoon Ha Lee

Ugg by Florent Llamas
★★★★☆ Clever and Emotional

(Future Fantasy) Even the ghosts have abandoned the ruins of the space station once known as the City of High Bells. All but the faithful temple cat, who sees a starship reenter the system after many long years. (3,499 words; Time: 11m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 244, published on .

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

Pro: The cat intends to preserve her temple against attack, and never mind that neither Spectral Lance nor the fleet of hunters has any interest in her. She remembers how she died trying to ring the bells that might have protected the temple, and, after all this time, she finally accomplishes it, raising the legions of dead who really can defeat the hunters.

Spectral Lance, the other key character, has simply come to find a good place to die. Ironically, it was she who actually destroyed the City of High Bells. With the destruction of the hunters, she can offer a place to the cat and the other dead, and so earns absolution.

Con: There are a few logical inconsistencies. If the bells had such power, why did all the bell ringers die in the original attack? And if it were this easy to attack the Fleet Lords, why did no one do it before?

Other Reviews: Search Web, Browse Review Sites (Issue 244)
Yoon Ha Lee Info: Interviews, Websites, ISFDB, FreeSFOnline

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2 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. This was a perfect fit for the issue's science-fantasy theme. And the ghost space cat was wonderfully characterized.