Elegy for a Young Elk • 2010 • post-singularity SF shortstory by Hannu Rajaniemi

★★★

Meta: ISFDB. This post-singularity SF short story appeared 2010 in the Subterranean Online magazine and was republished later on in several year’s best anthologies. Additionally, it will appear in his anthology Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction.

Synopsis: A former poet who didn’t upload lives now in the arctic wilderness of Finland together with a talking bear. A partial aspect of his ex-wife visits him, tools him up with a nanomachine device commanded by poetry and gives him a quest which leads him to a firewalled cities.

Review:  Well done, sparse, flowing, lyrical writing and a nice tension arc. The setting with the quantum plague reminded me of Fire Upon the Deep. I couldn’t really connect, though I liked the idea of the remaining father with the intelligent drunkard bear. If only the poetry device were used more often than once.

 

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