Saturday, April 11, 2020

Never a Butterfly, Nor a Moth With Moon-Painted Wings, by Aimee Ogden


(Fantasy) After war destroys their homeland, the Butterfly People come to Ksmal as refugees. They’re welcome, but only if they assimilate, and not everyone is happy with that. (6,301 words; Time: 21m)

"," by (edited by Scott H. Andrews), appeared in issue 300, published on .

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

Review: 2020.177 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s a sad story of a fairly brutal assimilation. I was particularly saddened when the Ksmala took away everything written in the Butterfly language and burned it.

One honors Shemi for her resistance to it, but her effort is so hopeless, it’s desperately sad. As is her daughter’s own rebellion.

I almost want to call this “Mannerpunk,” since it’s a secondary-world fantasy with no magic, but that name is too closely tied to the European notion of a “Novel of Manners.”

Con: The biggest problem is that Shemi is more of a victim than a protagonist; she describes the things that happened to her, but other than very mild resistance, she’s been a passive participant in what happened.

One wonders why more of the refugees didn’t bypass Ksmala and head into the mountains, if that was always an option.

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