Sunday Short: Seanan McGuire's Each to Each

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Welcome to all who might be stopping by via Sci-Fi November! One of the regular features of my blog is the Sunday Short, where I highlight great short stories / novellas available online. You can check out the past stories featured on my Sunday Short page.

This week's short is a science fiction from Lightspeed Magazine -- Seanan McGuire's Each to Each.

Originally published in Lightspeed. Art by Li Grabenstetter.
Each to Each blends science fiction with mermaids. Yes, mermaids... and bad ass military mermaids, at that. And it is incredible! In the world that McGuire creates here, mankind has decided to explore the depths of our seas in search of resources and space. The US navy has started all female crews of submarine bases that survey underwater areas. These bases are all female because women are smaller / get along better with one another in tight spaces, and the government has asked these women to be modified genetically / anatomically to better survey / protect the US's interests underwater.

While the basic premise is pretty awesome, I was surprised at how rich this short story really was! Not all mermaids are alike; some are modified to be like sharks, others jellyfish, others eels. McGuire creates a culture within the mermaids that is eerie and not entirely human-like; the narrator points out that no one has ever chosen to be modified back after service. Overall, Each to Each does what sci-fi I love does -- it uses a plausible science fiction to present a plausible future that challenges my expectations.

Rating: 5/5. Favorite line: 
The Navy claims they’re turning these women into better soldiers. From where I hang suspended in the sea, my lungs filled with saltwater like amniotic fluid, these women are becoming better myths.
Have any thoughts on this story? Any recent great sci-fi short reads you'd suggest for the group? Leave them in the comments below! 

Next week, I'll be taking a break -- it is vacation time for me with my family. I had hoped to maybe have something more lined up before I left, but alas -- work and life conspired against my best laid plans! I'll be back for double Sunday Shorts on November 15, though. 


  1. Huh, that sounds quite interesting! I'll definitely have to check it out, anything with mermaids has got to be awesome :)

    1. Mermaids are awesome, right?!

      I am a sucker for retellings of mythical creatures (even if a few -- vamps / weres -- have been overplayed recently), and I loved how this story created such an awesome world of mermaids that were both weird and really really interesting. With science! :)

  2. That sounds really interesting. It's the line about becoming better myths that really intrigued me. I love a good quote more than covers or synopsis and things. It just draws me right to a story.

    1. Hope you got a chance to read the story -- it really drew me in when I read it. And I agree with you -- I absolutely loved that line.


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