Sam J. Miller. Calved. (Asimovs September 2015)

asimovs1509The fourth really strong story from Miller I’ve read in the last 12 months or so.

It’s his first for Asimovs, and I would imagine/hope the first of many. As with his other stories he creates really believable, complex, and flawed characters, in a gritty, near future setting. Here he sets the story in a post-climate change world, with the sea levels rising, and many cities, and countries suffering the consequences.

The protagonist, Dom, is a refugee from the now inundated New York, and there are pointers in the story to the arrogance of the North Americans. He’s struggled to get himself settled in Sweden – he’s divorced, and he’s spending months away at sea in ships harvesting the ice floes that have calved away from the rapidly disappearing Arctic ice cap.

And he’s finding his son, now in his teens is similarly breaking away from himself. His son is going through a lot of teen angst, and on this visit home, Dom finds it heartbreaking to have lost the previously close relationship. Faced with the necessity to take a 12-month contract at sea, Dom thinks he has found away to make matters right. However, in a desperate few closing paragraphs, he finds out just how wrong he has been, and just how great the gap will be between them in future.

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