cover image Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water

Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water

Vylar Kaftan., $11.99 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-250-22113-1

A treacherous climb through the caves of a prison planet kicks off this deeply moving novella from Nebula winner Kaftan. Bee is unable to recall the crimes of her past; all she knows is the darkness of Colel-Cab’s oppressive caves, where she relies on fellow prisoner Chela for company. Chela tells Bee that they’re telepaths responsible for the murder of an entire starship’s population, and that they deserve the fate that they have been given—but as the faint voice of another telepath reaches them from beyond the caves, Bee learns about and faces the truth of her imprisonment and her relationship with Chela. Acting as both a cerebral thriller and an earnest take on the weight of emotional trauma, the story shows unmatched depth. Kaftan evokes sincere empathy for Bee, who wrestles with guilt, power, love, and determination, but never sacrifices tension or disturbing twists. This invigorating, cleverly introspective novella is the perfect length for its plot and themes, and its ghost will linger in the reader’s memory. (May)