My story “As Travelers in Sky Boats” is now up at science fiction podcast Escape Pod. You can listen to it, narrated by Ibba Armancas, or read it at the website. Or both!
It’s about clueless cultural anthropologists (in space!), and an island culture not especially enamored with what Star Trek fans might refer to as the Prime Directive.
My sister blames the Travelers. Before they came, she says, we were content within the small world we knew. No one wondered what lay beyond the flat blue horizon where ocean met sky, or who journeyed between the stars. Children never complained that there was an easier way to mend fishing nets, that they did not like the taste of seaweed. Men did not abandon responsibilities to pursue the impossible fantasy of becoming Travelers themselves.
One rainy night, when both she and the water leaking through our roof were keeping me awake, I told her that she sounded like a Traveler when she spoke that way. Who was she–or they–to tell me how I should live, what I could know or not know?