Or in this case a short story on Tor.com.
I came across Seven Commentaries On An Imperfect Land
, by Ruthanna Emrys, while poking through the short stories on the tor.com website in search of stuff that I thought I might like to nominate for the Hugos.
This is a story for those days when I look around me with bewilderment and think I must be somehow fundamentally foreign to the people around me--different inside. It might be described more precisely as a concatenation, a chain of seven storylets, related to each other but not sequels. Storylets share characters, but no one character appears in all storylets. There is another country, a reality with porous borders that bleeds over into our own, and there exist people drawn to that reality and at home there, who then have to contend with problems that arise from that reality, strange creatures, not all of whom are friendly, and times of privation that have nothing to do with Earth's rhythms.
I enjoyed it very much.
I wrote a set of lyrics for it but the melody hasn't stablilized yet:
lyrics by Catherine Faber 2014
inspired by Seven Commentaries on An Imperfect Land by Ruthanna Emrys, published at the tor.com website
The land of Tikanu was Dinah's to bind
It spread with the mint from the garden behind
Lights in the dusk, with the children abed
And ants that gave gems in exchange for their bread
Mint is invasive, but hard to direct
A border unguarded receives no respect
Warmed by the sunlight, its fragrance will blow
To any domain where the wind wants to go
Miriam's cutting of mint took its due
A tree like a fractal unfurled and grew.
Footprints appeared on the dunes as a guide
And dolphins would visit to squeak at low tide.
The lillim are chaos, you take as your dart
Strong patterns that lie at the galaxy's heart
So they haven't a hope when they meet with a mild
Mathematician defending her child
Tikanu has seasons, at odds with the Earth
Of feast and of famine, of plenty and dearth
To drive out starvation, a feast lies at hand
Given by friends in an alien land.
The folk of Tikanu are scattered like corn
Everywhere settling, everywhere born
Spreading like mint in the soil on the way
Its borders are porous; come visit, come stay