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Short Stories 365/189 | N.S. Beranek

“Notes of the Founders” by Georgina Li from Like They Always Been Free (Queer Young Cowboys, 2014).

I was leaning this way before reading this piece but am now convinced that, at heart, this author is a novelist. The second longest story in the collection, coming in at forty pages, this is a fully realized world with an interesting history not only of several characters but of the colony they inhabit. I don’t see any reason why the key events which are mentioned here in brief couldn’t be rendered in long form. I feel the same way about several of the pieces in this book, actually. These must be fragments of novels. They must be.

This is the story of the founders of a moon colony appropriately named New Sagan: Niko Miya and Peter Miller. It is told to us through journal entries as well as remembrances by Niko’s granddaughter. It’s a love story at heart, and here I’m not just talking about the magnetic pull between Niko and Peter but also about the way the colony itself is portrayed. This is a love song to the human race’s potential. Nothing is ever made of the fact that Niko and Peter are two men, aside from the fact that they had to resort to using a surrogate to bear their three children, and that, as scientists, they’d hoped for some other solution to that problem. (It is hinted that perhaps they found some measure of work-around, just as it’s hinted that the “Dome skin” that protects the colony, and which was their creation, is possibly alive.) I love that their sexual orientation is a non-issue, just as their (I’m assuming from their names) differing races is a non-issue. The only thing that matters to the members of the New Sagan colony is love and the right to self-determination. We can only hope that this fictional future comes to pass.