The SongThe Song by Erinn L. Kemper
My rating: 4/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

There was a reason staff were supposed to stay away from the kill floor. And a reason why all the butchers had to go for regular shrink visits.

another near-future/last gasp of nature kind of story that shows the toll of man’s careless brutality not just on the creatures we were meant to have dominion over (in the protective-stewardship way, not the hunt-unto-destruction way), but also on humans themselves.

set on a whale-processing ship (a bloodless euphemism for ‘slaughterhouse’)—the kind of lonely far-from-home gig that attracts saturnine loners to begin with—this story follows the tentative unfurling of a friendship between a welder-poet and a behavioral scientist specializing in whalesongs who has arrived to decipher the meaning of some recent, unusual cetacean behavior.

it’s a bleak one; full of desolation and death, bloody and suicide-saturated, in which every attempt at staving off loneliness seems destined to fail.

maybe not the best way to ring in 2021, but an affecting piece nonetheless.

read it for yourself here!…

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