“We Who Live in the Heart,” by Kelly Robson.
Novelette. Published in Clarkesworld, May 2017.
Humans have taken to living in giant floating whales. I don’t know about you, but I’m curious…. particularly when reviews seem to be pegging this as a story with plenty of meat to it.
Rocket Stack Rank does not recommend:
Pro: The account of what it’s like to belong to (and join) a tight-knit group of “whalers” is entertaining.
Narration and dialogue are spot on, and the plot is pretty much about how Doc learned to love someone again.
Con: I found it hard to sustain suspension of disbelief, and that spoiled the story for me. (…) The ending didn’t work for me either.
On the other hand, Charles Payseur is enthusiastic:
We as humans are all different and the story does a lovely job of showing what that can mean, how people can still find value in each other and in their relative seclusion, forming loose bonds that perhaps don’t offer as much cohesion but don’t bind, either. That exist to be supportive and caring without suffocating. And I like how the story establishes that with the crew of Mama, how the main character comes to stand for this voice of freedom even as they do yearn for relationships and company. And I just love how the piece builds up the bond between the main character and Ricci, how it reveals the potential that people have to build each other up, even as it never loses sight of how people can also tear each other down and apart. It’s a story with a great sense of wonder and fun, and it’s an amazing read!
What did you think? Read the story, and join the discussion in the comments!