Reviews: Clarkesworld Magazine Sci-Fi Short Stories Short Fiction Reviews

‘Dreams Strung like Pearls Between War and Peace’ Short Review

Dreams Strung like Pearls Between War and Peace is the story of a woman confused by her uneven memories, reluctant to embrace the revolution taking place on the fringes of her society. Central to the story is a fear she will be lumped in with her family’s actions of the past. This dissipates as she learns of the actions taken against her for years. It’s an anxious thought, imagining an alien race taking over and wiping your mind in order to use you against your friends and allies.

This is an extremely interesting story. We see two warring factions, one using shady tactics to control elite society members in order to abduct and murder their friends. It’s a terrifying concept, especially when you consider she had no idea this was happening to her. The three alien figures who eventually return to her memory are straight out of possession nightmares. 

The main character is consistently torn between multiple family legacies, one as upstanding, wealthy members of the elite and one as the leaders of a revolution against the tyrannical government. It’s clearly a battle within her as she tries to shake the legacy of her grandfather. In the end, we see her as the revolutionary that she is. They begin the fight against their oppressors and she takes pleasure in removing the three alien tormentors from the world.

Harris has created a strong science fiction story, including a well developed protagonist and a futuristic world with alien races, advanced fashion, a complex societal structure, and hints of steampunk gadgetry. It’s an impressive world that’s expertly established in only a few pages. 

Dreams Strung like Pearls
Between War and Peace

Written by Nin Harris
Clarkesworld Magazine
March 2019


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