Book Review – Short Stories – The short story “Children of the Dust” is available from the Baen Books website. It was written by Catherine Asaro (http://www.catherineasaro.net). Ms. Asaro has published many works of both fiction and non-fiction. This short story is set in her “Saga of the Skolian Empire” universe. As pointed out at the end of this short story:
Two-time Nebula-award winner Catherine Asaro has an M.A. in physics and a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard. A former ballet and jazz dancer, she founded the Mainly Jazz Dance program at Harvard and now teaches at the Caryl Maxwell Classical Ballet. “Children of the Dust” is a prequel to her Major Bhaajan series, which is set within her popular Skolian Empire, with Undercity and The Bronze Skies out now.
I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set on another world, one colonized by humanity it the far future. Young 15 year old Bhaajan is one of many who live in the derelict tunnels beneath the City of Cries, the Undercity. She and the other eek out a life of survival – stealing, dealing, fighting – with one another and with the civilization that lives on the surface of the planet Raylicon.
Bhaajan wants more for her future. It will be a struggle to leave her pseudo family in the Undercity, and an even bigger struggle to fit in, but she sees enlisting the Army as her way out.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 100 minutes I spent reading this young adult science fiction short story. I both enjoyed the plot and the rich characters that were created. I look forward to reading more stories set in this universe. I give this short story a 5 out of 5.
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