Aliette de Bodard. Ship’s Brother. (Interzone, #241, Jul-Aug 2012)

Third in the future Xuya sequence from de Bodard that I’ve read and enjoyed, the first being ‘Shipmaker’ (Interzone #231 Nov/Dec 2010 – reviewed here), then ‘Shipbirth’ (Asimovs, Feb 2012 – reviewed here).

The stories feature spaceships powered by AIs drawn from superintelligence babies spliced with them at their birth. In ‘Ship’s Brother’ the focus is on, erm, the brother of one such AI. The narrative is relayed through the elderly mother of the child that became an AI, and we see the price she has had to pay for that role, both in the crippling long-term affects of carrying that child, and the impact of that birth on the older sibling.

It’s an effective story, as the others, gradually building up layers to create a more complicated setting.

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