Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Exile Waiting 1-2 - Vonda N. McIntyre

"I met a retired navigator while I was drinking. She is almost deaf and almost blind—she’s outlived many of the ships she served on. Her hair has aged from ebony to white, her eyes from black to luminous gray. Too many flights have battered her, and stray radiation has turned her corneas to ground glass. They could be restored, but not the optic nerves. Yet she has a dignity about her that her tremors and deafened near-oblivion cannot strip away. She is ubiquitous, yet unique. A hundred castoff, worn-out relics wander in this bazaar alone, but she is the first with whom I’ve talked at length. She could go to one of the homes established for her kind, but she would have to leave space to do that, and she says it would kill her. She says she was born on old earth: she says it defiantly, with her clouded eyes glaring from her dark face, and she dares anyone to say she lies, or to be repelled by her. She was born there—it’s true in spirit. And perhaps even in fact, though I’ve always been taught that earth was dead and abandoned. "

3.5 out of 5