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Friday, May 24, 2013

"Firebugs" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Appeared in Eclipse Online

The Esta pod, six versions of the same girl, liked to set things on fire.  One version desires to burn more than the others, which surprises them that they could be different although it's hard to tell which.  Other pods make fun of Esta's experimental, purposeless nature.  The attractive Max pod makes a bet that the Esta pod will be useful.

The one breaks off from the other Estas to talk with Cara, her infant caretaker.  Cara has Estas hold each infant and tries to comfort this Esta, who thinks her pod might survive if she were dead.  The other Estas come to take the rogue Esta away. She does create the desire to burn in the others.  Does she die? become a singleton, a classification? or stay with her pod, endangering their survival?

Story of personal discovery.  Intriguing SF culture.

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