In Blue Lily’s Wake • 2015 • SF short story by Aliette de Bodard

★★★

Synopsis: The eponymous plague came over the Empire, researched and fought by a newly founded Crane and Cedar order. The mindship The Stone and Bronze Shadow fell ill and died of it, the disease transmitted by a girl who is still on board.

Review: This short story is set in the same Chinese future history universe called “Xuya“, featuring those mindships. The topic of contagion across species is quite contemporary with swine fever and over diseases, and you can feel the panic in the Empire that other mindships might die of it.

I nearly missed the deeper theme of atonement as it was hidden in a narration which layers far too many characters and flashbacks over a too small story. It might get better with a re-read but I’m not drawn into that one.

Meta: isfdb. This SF short story appeared 2015 in Meeting Infinity.

 

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