Henry Lien. The Ladies’ Aquatic Gardening Society. (Asimovs June 2015)

asimovs1506If the military SF in the previous story in this issue wasn’t to your fancy, this one might be – as it’s at the quite the opposite end of the spectrum.

In fact, with a minor bit of editing, it could be taken out of the SF genre completely. In fact I was reminded quite strongly of E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia which I read back in the 1980s after the popular TV series. Those stories featured some English middle-class angst following the arrival in a smart community of an outsider who proceeds to upset the delicate balance of society, where ‘vying for social prestige and one-upmanship in an atmosphere of extreme cultural snobbery’ is the name of the game.

So here Lien has Mrs. Howland-Thorpe finding her status as the eminent gardener in her community has been taken by incomer Mrs. Fleming, and the story proceeds through several attempts by Mrs. Howland-Thorpe to regain said status.

More from this issue here.

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