Rachael K. Jones and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali. Regarding the Robot Raccoons Attached to the Hull of My Ship. (Diabolical Plots, June 2017)

Originally published in/on Diabolical Plots and still online.

Read in The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Three. (ed Neil Clarke, Nightshade Books 2018).

This story comes from quite an out of the way online location. It’s an epistolary story, although in the form of a two-way correspondence. Two estranged sisters are communicating, and they have been at odds with each other for some time, and what we have is in effect an action movie told through lengthy letters between the two main protagonists. They are en route to Mars, one ahead of the other, and the one about to terraform Mars, the other hell bent on stopping her.

You have to push away the major question about *why* they are using lengthy emails to each other rather than shorter tweets, whatsapp, or whatever the micro-messaging system we have in place in a few decades time, and this, along with other issues around two people off doing something major alone, without being part of big times etc., the story feels a little like a Golden Age of SF story.

Obvs the reason for the long emails is that the narrative has to be progressed by lengthy expositions from each sister, going back over a lifetime of rubbing each other up the wrong way and the role of their parents and upbringing. But if you close your eyes to that, it’s a reasonable story although not a standout for me.

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