Rebecca J. Payne. Starlight. (Interzone #225, Nov/Dec 2009).

First story published in the UK for Payne, a fantasy story set on Earth in the future. Or, rather, set in the skies of Earth in the future, as we follow a lightship crewed by a couple, living slightly apart from their kind following their elopement. We learn of the life in the strange semi-organic ship they live in, steering by the stars, powered by the light of the moon (I think). There are pirates to be avoided, and the people living on the ground are also best left alone, as we find out a bit of backstory about the couple.

Fine as far as it goes. I’d have liked to have seen an offworld story, with a fuller rein given by Payne to her imagination, to do a bit of proper world-building unconstrained by an Earthly setting, but for a first published story, a promising debut.

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