Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters

Tor.com. Feb. 2021. 112p. ISBN 9781250782120. pap. $13.99. SF
Humanity has spread beyond the stars, finding ways to populate worlds not meant for them through genetic modification. Atuale was the Greatclan Lord’s daughter in the water, but she gave it all up for the love of a land-dwelling man—and spurred a long war that incurred losses on both sides. Now her husband and new clan are dying from a mysterious plague, and Atuale must once again beg for help from the World-Witch, Yanja. Yanja knows where to go to find answers, but requires Atuale to come along on an off-world trip that could bring a cure—or cost Atuale everything. Yanja is Atuale’s former lover, and knows every secret and hope she had. A painful past and conflicted desire for what exists off-world are only pieces of the barrier in front of Atuale and Yanja. Poetic, emotional prose and a science fiction setting give an original twist to an old fairy tale.
VERDICT Ogden (Frozen Fairy Tales) takes “The Little Mermaid” to outer space and imagines the desires beyond love and land. This novella will tug at the heart of every reader.
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