Published by Tordotcom on February 23, 2021
Genres: Science fiction
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters
Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters by Aimee Ogden is a science fiction retelling of The Little Mermaid with gender-fluid characters.
Atuale, a princess of the sea clans, sought out genetic modifications from Yanja, the World Witch, so she could live with her love on land. When a plague hits the land people, Atuale is the only one immune. She knows the only chance to help her adopted people is to seek off-world help. And the only one who could help her get off-world is Yanja.
A tricky ask since they were lovers once upon a time when Yanja was a woman.
My thoughts about Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters
The worldbuilding is complex even though we only get glimpses of a future where genetically modified humans travel between the stars, colonizing other worlds. The looks at Atuale’s past among the sea people was intriguing – bearing litters of children for political alliances, changing gender, acceptable, maybe expected queer lovers.
The writing is descriptive, lyrical, and even lush at times – not easy to do when describing the symptoms of plague. Atuale is a complex, well-developed character, full of determination, strength of will, and the ability to be moved by starlight.
If you’re looking for other diverse voices and stories, try other novellas from Tordotcom.
The Seventh Perfection by Daniel Polansky is a jewel of a puzzle box set in an unknown fantastical future. Read my full review.
Burning Roses by SL Huang is a queer retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
As slender as Sun-Daughters, Sea-Daughters is, Aimee Ogden packed a lot into it. She left me craving more. I hope she gives us more stories set in this complex future, peopled with such a diversity of beings.
Thank youNetGalley and Tordotcom for the ARC.