Travel Documents 59: Tundras, Travelers, and Other Travesties

Tundras, Travelers, and Other Travesties

 Amara Lynn
Genre: near-future, post apocalyptic, solarpunk, short story 

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The Dust Cover Copy

Eis has lived on a solar powered outpost in a tundra covered land all zir life.

After zir parents passing, Eis is left to maintain the outpost alone, struggling to do so between chronic pain flare ups, waiting for the day a traveler might come in need of a warm bed and a meal. A day Eis thinks might never come, until a mysterious craft crashes into one of the solar panels.

Eis never expected a traveler to come out of the craft, or for him to be so captivating and beautiful. Everything Eis knows could change with the coming of this traveler, and yet the greatest travesty would be never knowing what else is out there, beyond the tundra, beyond the skies.

Tundras, Travelers, and Other Travesties is a 5800 word solarpunk post-apocalyptic sci-fi short with a queer protagonist.

The Deets

The Scene

Worldbuilding

What a chilly, lovely little story to curl up with on a snowy afternoon, with a cup of tea in one hand! I had a lot of fun with this one. My greatest complaint? There were so many questions  that didn’t get answered. What is Eis’s illness? What happened to Earth? Is this cute couple going to work out? Like a good short story, this little work left me with a smile and a sense that I hadn’t gotten enough.

I really felt that this short could have been fleshed out into a longer story, or perhaps a full novel. But maybe I’ll get lucky and this will turn out to be a prequel story. (Hint, hint, nudge to the author.)

That said, the world building  that is there is well-envisioned and tangibly executed. You a snow-fiend, readers? Or you the type who looks out the window and thinks ‘uuugh, snow’? Either way, this story will delve into those feelings. Eis’s pet moose, zir joint pains, zir solar panels and zir safe home in the wilds are all real enough to touch.

The Crowd

Characterization

I found this story sweet, gentle, and wistful in manner. Eis is a naturally quiet young person who’s been alone a long time, and zir world is full of little systems and routines that keeps zir alive in the cold. Zir new friend is a shock to the system in so many ways, but he’s sweet, supportive and fun. Not a lot of backstory is given for either one of them within the confines of this story, but their interpersonal interactions characterize them really well in this soft, sweet little story of getting to know new people and yourself.

The Lingo

Writing Style

A pleasant style that hits all the points of good writing and doesn’t get in the way, I found it seamless. The editing and formatting was top notch. I did notice a bit of on-the-nose dialogue, but when you’ve got two teenagers both awkwardly trying to explain concepts, that’s pretty much inevitable. The style emphasizes the sense of wistful longing on long, dark nights. I found it charming.

The Moves

Plot

This is a true interpersonal tale. While not a lot ‘happens’ in the classic sense, the decisions about themselves, each other and the direction of their lives that these characters make weaves a cozy cocoon around readers.

Overall Rating

A sweet, supportive and cozy story of budding love and hope for the future. Great nonbinary and chronic illness representation. And just…well, I’ll say it. Fuzzy good feelings! The next time it snows, cozy up with this one. You’ll be glad you did.