‘I opened eyes and saw him, the God-man with the special food.’
When I was researching this short story by Naomi Mitchison, I remembered where I’d heard the author’s name before. Her 1962 novel Memoirs of a Spacewoman is on a list I made of female authors to read. It was recommended to me by a fellow blogger but I wasn’t able to find a copy. (Bart over at Weighing a Pig Doesn’t Fatten It has a thoughtful review of Memoirs here if you are interested.)
Mitchison’s short story “Miss Omega Raven” was published in Nova 2 (1972), as well as the Terry Carr edited The Best Science Fiction of the Year #2 (1973). It’s a very short story clocking in at only six pages. In his brief introduction to Mitchison’s story, Harry Harrison described it thus:
‘this deeply understanding story of a completely different type of mutation.’
Hmm… not sure about this one. For one thing, it’s very short. For another, it’s told from the viewpoint of a female raven and mainly focuses on the life-cycle of the birds–hatching, eating, learning to fly, mating, their strict “pecking order.” It is worth noting that Mitchison’s writing is well-crafted and said passages describing the ravens’ lives are never boring. Perhaps that’s why she kept it short?
Miss Omega Raven of the title is different to the other birds. She speaks of being taken from the nest when young and ‘fed this other food’ by the ‘God-man.’ Of having ‘little wires’ put on her head and ‘made to sleep’.
‘…because of that I was more changed.’
The story goes on to describe how–after influence from the God-man– Miss Omega Raven gradually breaks free of her subordinate role and becomes something else, something new and stronger than before.
Monday January 27th
After a careful shuffle of the Tarot deck, I picked out the trump card X Fortune–also known as the Wheel of Fortune. In general, it’s a symbol of destiny, of good luck and bad luck, of fate. Everything is moving, turning, and changing.
From my pre-written list of 78 short stories, the Fortune card offers me The Book of May by C.S.E Cooney and Carlos Hernandez. It was first published in Clockwork Phoenix 5 in 2016.
Well, that’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and see you next time.