Van Aaron Hughes. The Body Pirate. (Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August 2015)

fsf150708An excellent story from Hughes.

He sets up an intriguing scenario – humans and some form of intelligent bird have a strange symbiotic relationship, with a bird coupling to the human between their shoulder blades, and forming a ‘soul’ for the body. And each bird can have several human body to interface with, each able to operate on their own.

The story grapples cleverly with the idea of multiple fragmentary intelligences, through breaking into parallel narrative tracks when body/bird go their separate ways.

There are a couple of revelations in the story, and a dramatic denouement. And because of the good mix of story, idea and innovative narrative approach, I’m popping this story onto the shortlist for the Best SF Short Story Award 2015

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