short stories

The Battle of Candle Arc

General Shuos Jedao was spending his least favorite remembrance day with Captain-magistrate Rahal Korais. There was nothing wrong with Korais except that he was the fangmoth’s Doctrine officer, and even then he was reasonable for a Rahal. Nevertheless, Doctrine observed remembrances with the ranking officer, which meant that Jedao had to make sure he didn’t fall over.

Next time, Jedao thought, wishing the painkillers worked better, I have to get myself assassinated on a planet where they do the job right.

Thanks to Daedala and Yune Kyung Lee. Published in Clarkesworld Magazine.  Reprinted in The Year’s Best SF 18, ed. David G. Hartwell.

Warfare in a world where the calendar in use determines consensus reality, which in turn enables different exotic technologies, with a side helping of ethics.

For the curious, General Jedao’s tactics are based on Admiral Yi Sun-Shin’s tactics at the Battle of Myeongnyang during the Imjin War (cockamamie diagram at my Dreamwidth blog), although Jedao himself isn’t very much like Yi.  Yi did better, by the way: he was outnumbered 10 to 1, and took even fewer losses, but I didn’t want to push suspension of disbelief too far.