Trying something new: a weekly post spotlighting and micro-reviewing two short stories — one science fiction, one fantasy — both featuring diversity. The theme of this week is women warriors.
“Makeisha in Time” by Rachel K. Jones: A time-traveler lives a thousand lifetimes and fights a hundred thousand battles, the most consuming being black women’s erasure from history. Coolest idea: securing peace via polygamous marriage to vanquished lords’ daughters in order to form a community of loyal, capable government officials. Favorite sentence: Makeisha has seen the sun rise over prehistoric shores, where the ocean writhed with soft, slimy things that bore the promise of dung beetles, Archeopteryx, and Edgar Allan Poe.
“Woman of the Sun, Woman of the Moon” by Benjanun Sriduangkaew: Heavenly archer Houyi hunts demons, endures exile, and incurs the wrath of gods, but faces no challenge so daunting as the moon’s abduction of the serving-woman who captured her fierce warrior heart. Coolest idea: to with both wry humor and tragedy blend the struggles of women and LGBTQ couples into celestial China; the gender dynamics of this story could justify an entire post. Favorite line: There are stars in her mouth, and night in her bones.
The first story will stir your blood; the second will make your eyes tear; both will make you think, and delight in adventure.