Review for Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn
Amaryllis is simply stunning. It is everything you could possibly want from a science fiction tale. It deals with new governments, new ways of thinking, and in this case, new ways of considering the environment. Amaryllis is set in a world where moderation is key; one where the world had suffered enough from our desire to expand. And while the control mechanisms placed on people seem outrageous to 21st century eyes, they aren't evil. In fact, they are purely meant to help.
In terms of characters, Vaughn more than delivers. The story is narrated by the captain of the Amaryllis ship, a woman who has suffered her whole life because of the thoughtlessness of her mother. She's strong yet terrified of the establishment... I really grew to care for her, which is more than I can say for a lot of narrators! The rest of the Amaryllis crew were equally as endearing - especially the sweet, innocent Nina who starts off seeming rather childish but grew on me before the end.
Amaryllis is one of four finalists for Best Short Story in the 2011 Hugo Awards. Congrats to Vaughn - it is fantastic to see such a deserving story get some official recognition!
Bottom line? Amaryllis is a striking story set in a realistic, somewhat-heart-wrenching universe. Adoration will ensue.