Jim Hawkins. Chimbwi. (Interzone #227, March/April 2010)

Ecological, political and societal upheavel has left Europe and the USA devastated. However, Africa is a continent reborn, cheap energy at their fingertips.

A physicist has fled England, leaving desperate memories behind, a refugee with little hope. However, his skills are recognised, and he has the opportunity to become part of the land which is now his home, but only if he can confront that land, and its dangers, in a trial – naked save for a couple of hand-crafted weapons, he must face his fears and the creatures of the plains.

The background, and backstory are the highpoints of the story, the climax in which he takes on the tribal challenge to become one with the people with whom he now lives (and in which he is aided by a laser-toting colleague) doesn’t quite do justice to that which has gone before.

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