Strange Horizons, June 2 & 9, 2014
Reviewed by Cyd Athens
In Michelle Ann King’s “Tomorrow, We’ll Go Yak Herding,” the only thing keeping Jessica from visiting her friend, Sera, is a little thing called the displacement. One minute, a locale is, say, a hotel; the next, it’s a herd of yaks, or an orchard, or a casino, or… Jessica calls Sera with daily updates on her progress, which she decides would be better made on foot. That way, she won’t be in a car racing down the road only to have the situation turn perilous. This is a fun read with interesting challenges for its determined protagonist. Recommended.
A skeleton woman is the protagonist of Yukimi Ogawa’s story, “Rib.” She has stolen a kimono from a dead woman dumped at a temple. Later, she meets a young boy who was sold to carpenters after the recent death of his mother who, as it turns out, is the corpse from whom the skeleton woman took the kimono. While investigating the circumstances of his mother’s death, they learn the location of a tortoise-shelled hair stick that the mother wished the boy to have. They decide on a plan to retrieve it from where bandits have hidden it. This story is reminiscent of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.”
Cyd Athens indulges a speculative fiction addiction from 45ø 29 30.65 N, 122ø 35 30.91 W. Comments on Cyd’s reviews are welcome at www.cydathens.net.