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"The Bird Shaman's Girl": 11/30/07
The fifth story in October/ November issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction is a short story by Judith Moffett that builds on the novel The Ragged World (1992) in which the Hefn invade Earth to force humanity to stop its ecological destruction of the planet.
In this short story the Hefn appear to be working as guardians for the childlike humans. They have taken charge of the government and child welfare. In the middle of all of this is Lexi, a young actress who has accused her grandfather of sexual abuse. Unfortunately they are part of a religious cult.
Frankly I didn't like this short story. Having not read any of Moffett's prior work I came to this story not knowing or caring about her vision of Earth. She does try to offer enough exposition to carry the uninitiated along but these long segments of back story break up pacing and slow the whole thing down at a time when the main characters are racing to rescue the kidnapped Lexi.
Perhaps fans of the Hefn stories will enjoy this story more than I did. I frankly was glad when the story was over.
Phew. It all sounds way too scary for me.