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2014 Story 5

From the January 2014 issue of Lightspeed Magazine:

5. EXUVIATION by Zhao Haihong    Hiahong's story continues the trend of first person melancholy stories that seems to permeate Lightspeed's first issue of 2014.  The narrator in this case is Gong, a member of a subterranean race of "cavers" who molt (or "exuviate") nine times before achieving their final form, mating, and dying. Gong has come to the surface world (perhaps not entirely of her own volition, the story is a little vague about this) and since she looks like a beautiful human becomes an actress of great acclaim. But suppressing her natural impulse to exuviate takes its toll, especially when another caver comes to the surface. Again, the narrator's voice drew me into the story's central dilemma. And while I wanted to know more about the world Gong and Tou came from, I was more concerned for them as characters, concerned about the decisions they each make and how they are bound to each other and yet separate.

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