Children of Leng

Ride the Star Wind book cover

Ride the Star Wind: Cthulhu, Space Opera and the Cosmic Weird, edited by Scott Gable, Broken Eye Books, 2017

They walked the path, Grandma in her yukata, Mirai in her boring schoolgirl coveralls, trying not to feel the weight of Leng above their heads. Mirai focused instead on the terraced hills and irrigation canals, the gated shrine and the Ancestral Grove, the curved display walls which projected the pretend fields so that they seemed to go on forever. The Earth Chamber was vast, and it was hard to believe that both of the other isolated habitat rings had similar rooms, even if they were dead, or sleeping.

On the spinward edge of the chamber, old cherry trees with their dark leaves and gnarled branches guarded dozens of clear cylinders. A naked form floated in each–sisters and aunties and grannies who had passed on. This was the Ancestral Grove, and these were the women they honored and prayed for until it was time for them to return to the Amanokawa, to be recycled into the wheel of life that was their world. Her oldest grandmothers were in the air they breathed, the water they sipped, and the ground they walked on. The ancestors made the entire ship sacred with their presence.  

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