Sunday Short: Sarah Pinsker's No Lonely Seafarer

Sunday, October 5, 2014
This week's Sunday Short is Sarah Pinsker's No Lonely Seafarer, published in Lightspeed magazine.

This short takes place in a town by the sea called Dog's Bay, where all sailors have been grounded and tensions are running high. A group of sirens have taken up residence at the headland of the bay, and no sailors have been able to pass or leave the town.

Our young protagonist, Alex, is approached and asked for help by the captain of a boat who has a new plan to pass the sirens by. Alex is 13 years old and intersexed. All previous attempts to pass the sirens have failed (grown men and women have thrown themselves into the sea upon hearing the sirens). What will happen when Alex faces the sirens?

The story's narration was clear and straightforward, and I enjoyed Alex's viewpoint on the overall problem the town faced. The dynamics of a non-traditional character in the small town were also interesting, and I love diversity of viewpoints in my fantasy. Overall, No Lonely Seafarer was a solid short story that captivated me for the time that I was reading it, but it probably wont be one I think about much again.

Favorite line:
Their two voices? I lived that story every day. They sang that no life could be hid from their dreaming, so I offered mine as proof. I thought maybe they had never heard a creature such as I was...
Rating: 4/5

Next week's short will be Polenth Blake's Never the Same, published in Strange Horizon. Any thoughts on this week's short or future short stories you'd like to see featured? Please them in the comments below!

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