Rhiannon Rasmussen’s debut SF novella, The Wasp Child, was recently reviewed by Kirkus, who had nothing but good things to say.
“A well-written story of transformation that’s both emotional and thought-provoking.”-Kirkus Reviews
Rasmussen’s sci-fi story follows Kesh, who is afraid—of his classmates, his allergies, his odd sense of smell, and his prospects for the future.
Born into Meridian Colony, where corporate values dictate human worth, Kesh longs for escape. He gets what he asks for in the worst possible way when his classmates kidnap and dump him in the middle of an alien rainforest. Alone.
Faced with certain death, Kesh stumbles through the forest until he encounters the sansik, giant insects native to the planet. Though the sansik seem to care for him at first, their pheromones set off a horrific metamorphosis in Kesh. Claws sprout from his fingertips, a monstrous exoskeleton grows beneath his skin, and then the bugs do the unthinkable: they trade him back to Meridian where a life as a living scientific curiosity awaits him, a bleak future void of autonomy.
Caught in a tug-of-war between Meridian’s laboratories and a harsh alien world, Kesh has to make a choice: convince his people to accept him, or escape and face an uncertain future alone in an alien world.
“What happens to Kesh isn’t pretty—but there is something beautiful in the sansiks’ care for and acceptance of him, even though his true nature could make him a pariah in the hive. They have a sense of fair play and generosity notably lacking in the colonists. The author also makes the alien world vivid through skillfully crisp sensory descriptions.-Kirkus Reviews
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