Monday, January 4, 2010

Boojum by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette

This is a future pirate story with a few inversions. Instead of a ruthless man, the captain is a ruthless woman. Instead of a ship, the crew live inside an enslaved void creature called a boojum.

The story and characterizations are overly compressed. In longer form the plot events and people’s relationships could have had room to breathe and time for better development. Still, there are a few good details: swearing the loyalty oath to the captain includes slicing your thumb with a razorblade and dripping blood on the organic deck so that the ship knows the crew. The compactness of the story leads to reading it as pastiche, whether intended or not.

“Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette first appeared in the anthology Fast Ships, Black Sails (Night Shade Books, 2008) edited by Jeff and Ann VanderMeer
Link: Year’s Best SF 14 summation and table of contents

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