Derek Kunsken. Schools of Clay. (Asimovs February 2014)

asimovs201402Set in the same/similar world to his ‘The Way of The Needle’ from Asimovs March 2012 (review here) – that world being a metal/mechanical crablike race of creatures, harvesting minerals and other materials from the planet’s surface.

Kunksen related in parallel two elements of the story – alien attack, causing the creatures to take to space to survive, and the preceding industrial unrest.

But this time around I found it jarred a little more – there was too much straight from human experience in terms of the class system, the ‘landlords’ and ‘tax collectors’, the discussions around the proletariat etc. There was a lot of invention in the geology and chemistry of the world in which the story was set, and perhaps not a corresponding amount of invention in the other elements.

More from this issue of Asimov’s here, recent issues of Asimov’s here, and an issue by issue index of Asimov’s from 2000 here.

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