Strange Horizons — November 18, 2019

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Strange Horizons, November 18, 2019

“Seed Vault” by Marika Bailey

Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf

“Seed Vault” by Marika Bailey is an unusual combination of science fiction and the supernatural. It takes place on a colony world in the far future. The narrator is one of a group of colonists from the Caribbean. During her journey across the wastelands of the planet, the traditional gods of her people accompany her. Flashbacks reveal that an attack from another group of colonists devastated her village. An encounter with one of the invaders leads to the possibility of a more peaceful future.

A mixture of Caribbean language and futuristic terms make this story a challenge to read. The complex flashback structure adds to the difficulty. In addition, a long section near the end, seemingly written from the point of view of the narrator and the planet itself, bonded into one entity, is very disorienting. Readers must be very patient, and willing to reread when necessary, to appreciate the author’s unique style and vivid imagery.

Victoria Silverwolf got a free meal at work yesterday.