REVIEW: “A Crooked Road Home” by Caroline Sciriha

Review of Caroline Sciriha, “A Crooked Road Home”, in Catherine Lundoff, ed., Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) (Queen of Swords Press, 2018): 144-155 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

This story caught me by surprise. It started off being a relatively ordinary story about space pirates and organised crime and smuggling — the sort of thing you’d find in a typical B-grade SF flick — and ended up turning much deeper and sharper and harsher and more beautiful. This isn’t merely the story of space pirate Captain Jesson out to win his freedom from his mob-boss father to secure a future for himself; it’s the story of how he must face the ugly aspects of his past, the parts he had no control over then but maybe can make restitution for how.

Sciriha tangles together threads of child trafficking, parental loss, and the displacement that comes from being a member of a minority culture in such a way that I was left with a lump in my throat and a lingering sadness for Jesson’s past and hope for his future.