In this brilliant dark science fiction story from her collection Unwelcome Bodies, Nebula-nominated Jennifer Pelland confronts the handicap that is normality...
Alice watches the skies with two other saviors of humankind, children who were altered into monsters to save a space colony from an attack like the one that killed Alice's parents. Alice lives in slavery to duty and machines: yet she's content, supported by the love of her minder, Dr. DeVeaux. Marika.
Then the program is shut down, and Alice is forced to return to normal human functionality.
Loss of purpose...loss of time...loss of her machines.
And the revulsion of her beloved Marika, at Alice's loss of helplessness.
“Her already-glowing reputation may still be just a hint of promising light on the horizon of those who like their fantastic fiction smart, imaginative, and driven by the mysteries of the human spirit, but each new story as brilliant as ‘Brushstrokes’ and ‘The Last Stand of the Elephant Man’ brings her inevitable future even closer. Trust me on this: Jennifer Pelland’s star has only just begun to rise.”
—Adam-Troy Castro, author of Emissaries From the Dead
“Jennifer Pelland is addicted to writing short stories. She’s written an essay about this addiction but you don’t need to read the essay to know it’s true. Each of the tales in this collection is a testament to her love of story-telling, and her imagination. She has a keen sense of irony, and a gift for juxtaposing images and events in a way which enables her to extract emotion at crucial moments from her characters and from the reader.”
“Jennifer Pelland is a very good writer. She can evoke a setting, an environment, a mood in just a few sentences. And she does it so intensely that the reader really feels the fear of touching any potentially diseased subway riders; feels the thirst of a world without water; feels the aloneness that comes behind the metal mask.”
About Jennifer Pelland
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Published September 16, 2012
by Apex Publications.
Science Fiction & Fantasy, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction.