Sarah Frost. Bodies in Water. (Analog May 2014)

analog1405I was flicking through this issue of Analog to get to the Kristine Kathryn Rusch, for most part giving each story en route a few paragraphs to see the story appeared to offer more than standard Analog scientist fiction (although one or two authors I know from experience I can skip without even that check).

The Sarah Frost story grabbed my attention, and I read it, and can report it’s actually quite a lovely story. It’s got an interesting protagonist – a young girl with a range of (presumably congenital) ‘deformities’. Her father struggles with her disabilities and there’s no emotional warmth, indeed, little physical touching. Her neighbours are similarly dismissive of her.

The setting is interesting one : coastal Florida, post-something. We know that the community is on it’s uppers, due to the state of the housing, overgrown streets, and by the fact that there’s an empty shell of a starship on the beach. The community used to be part of a thriving space-port, but clearly things have gone awry.

We don’t find out why, and that’s not necessary, as the story is about the young girl, and how an aquatic fish/robot she fishes out of the sea, and fixes before letting loose in the sea again, acts a fulcrum (along with a fearful hurricane) around which her relationship with her father changes.

So all in all, a nicely told story that feels much more like an Asimov’s story, and I may well fish out the previous stories by Frost in Analog to read. A shame that the cover illustration wasn’t for this story!

more from this issue of Analog

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