Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sea Change, by Kimberly Unger

Galaxy's Edge, September 2015
http://www.galaxysedge.com/n8.htm

We see this story from Maryanne's viewpoint, and there's room for a couple of different ideas about who/what Maryanne is before she's spilled enough detail that we get the right idea. I don't think this is an  accident, by any means.

The world is probably not Earth, but it is habitable, and humans are living more or less successfully on it. Unfortunately, they do not have all the infrastructure they expected to have; a major control and support facility on the moon (one of the moons?) has been destroyed. Maryanne and her cohort are supposed to defend the land against invaders from the sea, but she's doing that on her own now. The rest of her cohort has been killed over time, since the disaster that took out the facility that should have supported them.

In their absence, Maryanne has become attached to a family living in a beach house nearby. She continues to do her job, but she also watches over and guards the children and their parents.

Then a new crisis arises, and Maryanne has to decide which job is more important, the one she was meant to do, or the one she's given herself in her not-fully-acknowledged loneliness.

This is a nicely done story. The development of Maryanne is compelling, and the revelations of the larger world and of the family she's attached herself to are well-done.

Recommended.