Monday, January 25, 2010

The Ships Like Clouds, Risen by Their Rain by Jason Sanford

Here the atmospheric imagery predominates. On a mud-ball world, wracked by storms of water and mud dumped by passing ships, a weather forecaster must warn her townsfolk of impending disaster. Torrential storms, mud flows, and sink holes threaten their survival. The homes are built vertically as they sink into ever increasing layers of mud. Excavating downward reveals childhood living spaces, and going further, homes of previous generations. The weather forecaster must cope with a wayward apprentice, and deal with small-minded town leaders and rules.

The story is more akin to a fable or a dreamscape. The rational explanations, when they arrive at the end, are paper-thin -- more intimations than fleshed out explanations. Still, the weather inducing ships, floods and flows, and sinking homes make for an involving story.

“The Ships Like Clouds, Risen by Their Rain” by Jason Sanford originally appeared in Interzone, August 2008.
Link: Year’s Best SF 14 summation and table of contents

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