Reclamation by Ryan Row

This is the first short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: August, 2016 in Clarkesworld Magazine

Genre: science fiction

Setting: the asteroid belt, near future

Summary: Our narrator is adrift in the asteroid belt after an accident knocked her off the asteroid she was mining. Her resources are running out and her mind is slowly going crazy. She fantasizes about the stars for much of the time. At some point, she notices a space ship nearby. Although it is a derelict, she investigates, slowly making her way through the labyrinthine passageways. I think at the end she’s infected by an alien and is about the infect another ship come to rescue her.

Final thoughts: The beginning was all about the infinite stars surrounding our drifting miner (she even starting calling herself Drift), but I got confused by the end. Did she actually turn into an alien? Was she infected? How was it taking all of her memories? Was it making her contact the other ship, or was that her humanity? The story made me think, but I don’t like ending on such confusion.

Title comes from: I’m not really sure. Maybe it had to do with her mining. Maybe it was the loss of her memories. Maybe it was her transformation within the alien ship.

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