Hugo Finalist: A Catalog of Storms • 2019 • Surrealistic Fantasy short story by Fran Wilde

★★★

Synopsis:  Weathermen, who are humans transformed to weather elements, fight the storms away to save the townsfolk. Lillit is a girl who has the talents to become such a weatherman, but her mother tries to prevent this because she doesn’t want to loose her.

Review: As in many fantasy magic systems, the name gives might over things, and the weathermen seek names of the storms which are registered in the catalog. Some of the name hint that the storms are not only weather effects. The storms take surreal forms in this world and not much context is given in the backgrounds of the people. It might be an allegory, but I didn’t care enough to analyse it and just enjoyed the fascinating images, the calm prose and followed Lillit’s destiny. I can’t completely resist the pun and call the story atmospheric.

Meta: isfdb. It is available online at Uncanny and I’ve read it as part of the Hugo and Nebula Award finalists.

 

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