Barren Sky by Rich Matrunick

bs8-final-cover-gzd-900wPublished: April, 2013 in Bull Spec

Genre: science fiction

Length: 13 pages

Setting: Corisan, a planet that has recently started industrializing

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Corisan is drying out. It hasn’t rained in six months, and rations keep getting smaller as crops fail. The rain dancers continue to dance, but they can’t seem to call rain. People are starting to question their efficacy. Some people are turning more towards technology, and others are looking to blame the lack of rain on something else, like the fact that Princi-Rajah’s daughter, who is being kept alive through technology, was born on the same day as the last rains. Some are willing to kill the baby in the hopes of restarting the rains. The narrator has a chance to warn the Princi-Rajah, but he chooses not to.

Final thoughts: An interesting story of the clash of traditional culture with the advent of technology. If you remove the technology, will things go back to the way they used to be, or has everything changed irrevocably? The author leaves us hanging to decide for ourselves whether those clouds on the horizon will bring rain or just more dust. You get just enough introduction to the world to put yourself into the situation. It reminded me of the Plains states and Native Americans. Very enjoyable.

Title comes from: The lack of rain in the world.


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