Short Fiction Friday: Tyche and the Ants

Tyche and the Ants by Hannu Rajaniemi, Clarkesworld #104

[no synopsis available]

When I was first presented with Jean Le Flambeur series of Hannu Rajaniemi I thought they were daunting to read and to be compeltely honest I had a ehh? moment more than once. Hannu Rajaniemi has very lively imagination that he isn't afraid to show in his stories. Somethings might be seen as bizar but in the face of Science Fiction, it fits. Science Fiction is about breaking new grounds and this is precisely what Hannu Rajaniemi does, also with this short story Tyche and the Ants. 

What caught me first on this Tyche and the Ants was the very first sentence  "The ants arrived on the Moon on the same day Tyche went through the Secret Door to give a ruby to the Magician". It sounds promising doesn't? What this first sentence does is too say boldly, that this is far from a Science Fiction story but also has roots into a more fantasy way: Moon, Secret Door and Magician. If that doesn't peak your interest, I don't know what will! Soon you get introduced to the little girl Tyche. Tyche is special and she lives on the Moon, where she grows up under the eye of a artificial intelligence known as The Brain. The Brain like her caretaker giving her advice and giving her certain treatments. As you can make from the first senctence Tyche is to deliver a ruby to the Magician and in this first journey, Hannu Rajaniemi doesnt spare you. He directly does what he does best, creating the ehh? feeling. He livens up the journey of Tyche with carefully placed words that first make you say what and then it comes naturally. They might seem oddly placed words but I dare to fight that and say that they are carefully placed words, it build a create ambiance, oh and btw. Space Sharks awesome! as the story progresses you get to read about the seriousness of the situation. Here you see Tyche starting to grow up and you understand just what the whole situation holds. It's quite a revelation and the ending of the story is very beautiful. A Magician might be limited in somethings but not in others. A beautiful ending!

Hannu Rajaniemi knows how to create a wonderful sense in a short story. When you think about Tyche and the Ants, the story has a lot of similarities with Alice in Wonderland, but with Hannu Rajaniemi's spin given on it. Next to this there are also other references towards mythology, and of course, there were people before Tyche on the Moon!

A great story


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