Meta: ISFDB. From the Jackaroo Series, originally published in Arc 2.1. I’ve read it in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection.
It is such a shame that the anthology doesn’t reprint the corresponding illustrations. For this story I found an illustration by Alex Andreev.
It shows the elderly Ziyi, her two dogs and the mysterious man bathing in orange streams of the colonial planet’s star called Sauron. As in the previous story, the planet is tidally locked – strange to find two such stories about the same theme, right? Ziyi looks for plastic and technique flotsam stemming from an ancient alien factory when suddenly the stranger appears naked after a blizzard.
I can’t wish for more world- or character-building compressed in just 10 pages. It remembers me in style and slow tone of some of Ursula K. Le Guin’s stories. Unsettling, moving awesomeness by a master of writing – McAuley won several awards back in the 80s and 90s but I didn’t manage to read anything from him, yet. This will change soon!