Aliya Whiteley. Blossoms Falling Down. (Interzone #257, Mar/Apr 2015)

interzone257A four-pager which feels a bit longer, generally a good sign.

Set on board a generation starship, with each deck dedicated to a country from the Earth left behind, all travellers looking forward to the future and the change to start again (we’re not told exactly how bad things were back on Earth). The story has two perspectives – short opening and closing perspectives from one of the navigators, from the Nordic deck. And the majority from a young woman who has made the move from the Mexican deck, masquerading as a geisha, pouring tea and delivering haiku to visitors.

It appears that the haikus she remembers, and the one she makes up give him pause for thought. There are only a few, and being haiku they are fairly obtuse, and the reader has to guess exactly what are the thoughts they put into his mind.

One quibble: if he’s from the Nordic deck, why is he called Neil, rather than having a Nordic name?

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