Theodora Goss. Child-Empress of Mars. (The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2010).

Originally in : Interfictions 2.

I haven’t read the Interfictions anthologies, but a quick google enables you to find the first volume on google books, and a peek at the introduction identifies the manifesto of the series (click here for that). Part of that is the concept of metafiction, fictions drawing on other works of fiction.

Here Goss looks at Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom novels, but from the perspectives of the inhabitants of the Red Planet. And we see the court of the Child-Empress, on the Crimson Planet (from their perspective, remember), as they follow the latest arrival from Earth. And rather than ERB’s simplistic biology of otherwise human-type creatures grown from eggs, Goss creates an altogether 21st Century genetics to underpin her creatures.

It’s an interesting conceit, and left this reader wishing it had been a longer story.

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