SCI-FI:  In a time where sea drones harvest seaweed for a major food company, lives a being eagerly seeking to break the monotony of her existence.  Coral quietly hungers for change and covertly seeks new experiences.  During one of her secret adventures, she rescues a man from a sinking boat.  Unable to forget him, she begins an ambitious quest that will change her and, possibly, those responsible for creating her people.


Within this story’s text is the controversy of creating a new species.  The idea is thought-provoking, with strengths and weaknesses. Coral’s motivation for such an extensive transformation is weak.  Her rapid transition from drone to human requires a willingness on the part of the reader to suspend disbelief. Rob, the man Coral saved and her romantic interest, presents a challenge. His character is distant, and it’s difficult to see why Coral would endure such struggle. The strongest aspect of “Mermaid” is the perspective of Coral’s pod.  Her drone sisters and grandmother provide fascinating facets to the story.  The history of the drone project and the fundamental issue of life argument are very provocative pieces of this story.  The idea that these beings have a repressed yearning for more than the monotonous life as a drone is appealing.  As a creative retelling of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, “Mermaid” is laden with science fiction elements that readers may appreciate.  


Anna Fitzgerald