The Breath of War
Going into the mountains had never been easy. Even in Rechan’s first adult years, when the war was slowly burning itself to smouldering embers, every Spring Festival had been a slow migration in armed vehicles, her aunts and uncles frequently stopping in every roadside shop, taking stock of what ambushes or roadblocks might lie ahead.
The war might be over–or almost so, the planet largely at peace, the spaceports disgorging a steady stream of Galactic and Rong visitors onto Voc–but the pace was just as frustratingly slow.
A more science fantasy piece. Sort of set in the Xuya continuity I guess? Aka fun with pregnancy and birth and not at all based on actual life experience 🙂
Many thanks to Daniel Franklin for reading me in record time and convincing me it wasn’t totally broken (I was actually all set to bin the story and start afresh).
Finalist for a Nebula Award for Best Short Story (2014).