The first story I’ve read by Balder, and on this form I’m guessing it won’t be the last.
Eleven-year old Aoife is the protagonist, whose mama is about to give birth in her house. All straightforward you might think, but the house is intelligent, and, in fact, organic, and, we soon find out, alien. Aoife finds her own little seedling house in the forest and takes it as hers, as every young girl needs to find and nuture a hice in order to live in when an adult.
Men are notably absent, and exactly what is happening becomes clear when strangers, in spacesuits arrive in their midst. The shortish length of the story means that a lot is explained quite quickly – I would have welcomed a few more pages to the story to stretch this element out further.
The explanation : the woman are part of a human settlement that long ago lost links with the rest of humanity, and has developed a symbiotic relationship with the indigenous race (with little need for men). The spacesuited humans arrive with the best of intentions, but….
Well written by Balder, showing some interesting ideas as well as characterisation and plot handling.
More from this issue here.