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The Others: 10/31/09
Today's story from Fantasy & Science Fiction is "The Others" by Lawrence C. Connolly. According to the introduction the story is a direct sequel to "Daughters of Time." The story was "reprinted" on the magazine's website but I missed my chance to read it.
Thus I am coming to "The Others" as a stand alone short story. As far as I can tell it's the story of a group of warrior clones who are on a mission of some importance. One of them, who has decided to just call herself Cara instead of by her birth order designation, is injured. I suppose she was injured sometime in the previous story. The experience of pain and the shut down of her cybernetics has made her rethink her life.
Meanwhile the local villagers who speak with a language of just clicks and whistles are planning something. They aren't keeping their normal schedule. But what they are planning and what their change in behavior means in the bigger picture, I don't know.
I don't think I got much out of the events of the story but I did enjoy the world in which things take place. One of the challenges the clones face are mountain sized snails who disguise themselves with trees, boulders and other large elements from their natural environment. They use a saliva that hardens like glass and apparently can cut like glass too.
The snails and other unusual creatures made the story readable. It doesn't though stand well as a solo piece.