Meta: First published electronically on Clarkesworld, July 2012. Reed it for free at Clarkesworld.Finalist for the 2013 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction. I read it in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection. Set in the same world as Hugo-nominated Amaryllis.
How many sheep is a telescope worth? This is the question brought up in a few generations post-apocalyptic low-tech world where people live of subsistence farming. Children are allocated only to the most productive households.
Young weaver Stella has to leave her dissolved household to work in a more fertile one. She finds a girlfriend who is invested in astronomy. But the community’s leader doesn’t like that non-productive work.
Nothing extraordinary here, no surprises, zero action, but a pleasant, peaceful narrative. The setup wasn’t investigated deep enough but I didn’t find it too logical – too much love for worksmanship.