SFF, Short stories


ApexMag04Easter weekend is over and I didn’t win the Vogel or the BSFA, alas! But they both went to worthy winners so can’t complain. Really, the pleasure lay in being nominated at all.

But it’s a new week now, with a new story! “Crow” has just been published in the latest issue of Apex Magazine. It’s online and free to read, so have at it. It’s my first story in Apex, and I was very pleased to place it there.

“Crow” is the third of my future-fishing-in-New-Zealand stories to be published. It only barely references the first (“The Mistress of Fishes”) in its nod to Carnival time, and it doesn’t mention the second (“The Mussel Eater”) at all, though there is some similarity. The robots of “Crow” are ecological guardians of fish stocks, and they’re in that position because they can’t be bribed or threatened or convinced to allow over-fishing. In that sense they’re similar to the Pania of TME, whose remit is to look after marine mammals. (I’m slowly populating New Zealand waters with predators… it’s fun!).

But if the Crows can’t be convinced, they can be sabotaged. It’s also widely known they can be sabotaged… but it never goes undetected, and the consequences are terrible.

NZ actually has a quota system governing its fisheries industry now. It’s pretty good, and the aim is of course to protect fishing stocks for future generations. But it’s not perfect… not yet, anyway. It lacks creepy iron conservators, for one thing.

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