Gwendolyn Clare. Ashes on the Water. (Asimovs, January 2011).

A young woman endeavours to send the ashes of her sister to their final resting place through the time-honoured means of putting them in the river – except that in this near-future India, desertification means that access to the rivers is closely guarded.

It’s not SF by any means, and doesn’t really convince in its setting, with little colour or texture to make the reader feel that the story is set in India. Here’s some dialogue from a Sikh cafe owner, by way of illustration : “Hey, kid. Whatever you’re looking for, I hope you find it”.

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