Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water
Nebula Award-winning author Vylar Kaftan weaves a dark tale of loss, regret, love, and revenge in the novella, Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water.
"Tense and gripping."—Ann Leckie
"A moving tribute to the power within us all."—Nancy Kress
All Bee has ever known is darkness.
She doesn’t remember the crime she committed that landed her in the cold, twisting caverns of the prison planet Colel-Cab with only fellow prisoner Chela for company. Chela says that they’re telepaths and mass-murderers; that they belong here, too dangerous to ever be free. Bee has no reason to doubt her—until she hears the voice of another telepath, one who has answers, and can open her eyes to an entirely different truth.
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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.