This is another short piece that was nominated for a Hugo award in 2014. It is a fairy tale fable type of story rather than strict science fiction. The story takes place in Thailand, primarily in a village at the mouth of a river. Every year, the people of the villages upstream put wishes in paper boats and float them downriver, in the hopes that those wishes might be magically granted by the ink readers.
It’s an interesting story, and, for the most part, well-written. It starts slowly, and there is some uneveness in places, as well as a bit too much repitition. There is good and bad, real and fanciful, hope and loss woven throughout, as well as a fair amount of humor. It is a sad story in a way, but you are left with a sense of hope. It asks questions it doesn’t necessarily answer completely about the perception of magic and deception in life.
This is a nice story, despite some flaws. Read it as a fable and not as a straight science fiction, and it satisfies nicely.
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