Strange Horizons, 15 May 2006

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"Cinderella Suicide" by Samantha Henderson

"Cinderella Suicide" by Samantha Henderson is the story of a triune of ex-convicts—Cinderella Suicide, Cinderella Superstar, and Cinderella Tintype—who have become mercenaries after serving their sentence in New South Wales.
Something crashes into the earth and scatters rare earth elements across the continent.  These precious elements are used to develop magnetic clocks, automatons, and air-cars.  The Cinderellas are hired to search out the almost mythical source of these rare elements.
I’ll admit up front that "Cinderella Suicide" is not the type of fiction I usually prefer to read.  However, I was bowled over by its sheer elegance.  It is more than a science fiction story of body-modded mercenaries.  Henderson has woven in elements of a mythic quest as well as a poignant and somewhat horrific resolution.  Excellent story.