Rich and Strange: “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead” by Brooke Bolander

copyright 2015 Galen Dara

This week’s Rich and Strange looks at a blazing, fast-paced, relentless sort of story by Brooke Bolander: “And You Shall Know Her by the Trail of Dead,” published this month in Lightspeed magazine.

In the far-future there are fully synthetic humans grown for grunt-work and war: “The children of wires and circuits aren’t worth a tinker’s fuck compared to the children of real flesh and bone, so far as the world’s concerned,” observes Rhye, our foul-mouthed, gun-slinging protagonist. Seriously injured after a prize fight, she’s taken in by Rack, who helps her up and offers her a place to stay.

Rack and Rhye make a great team: he’s cool, quiet, a brilliant security specialist, while she’s fierce, blazing, loud, angry. Mostly Rack looks after Rhye, cleaning her wounds and not judging her life choices—but when a mob deal goes sour, it’s up to Rhye to save both their lives by diving through circuitry and bodiless space to find Rack and the third party he was hired to extract.

Full review, as usual, at Tor.com. I found this pretty amazing, and can’t wait to read more of Bolander’s work.

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