Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Mermaid Astronaut, by Yoon Ha Lee

★★★☆☆ Honorable Mention

(Future Fantasy Adventure) Until a visiting starship arrived, the other mermaids thought Essarala was silly for wanting to explore the galaxy. (6,009 words; Time: 20m)

Recommended By: 👍ABrown+1 👍MHaskins+1 (Q&A)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 298, published on .

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

Review: 2020.124 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s a nice tale, obviously an homage to “The Little Mermaid,” by Hans Christian Anderson, albeit a much happier story. Essarala really does want to explore the galaxy, and she gets her chance. Unlike in the Anderson story, it’s not obvious at first what price she’ll pay, although I’m sure most readers immediately suspect she’ll return in a few years and find her home aged beyond recognition.

It’s a nice twist that the Sea Witch was also once a mermaid who traveled the stars, so it’s fair that Essarala take her place.

Con: It’s all too easy. Essarala gets everything she wants without working for it. The starship takes her one. She finds a tutor who’s endlessly patient with her. When she learns about time dilation, the ship changes its schedule for her. Her sister is still alive, so they get to have some quality time together.

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