REVIEW: “The Mothership” by K. Bannerman

Review of K. Bannerman, “The Mothership”, Luna Station Quarterly 35 (2018): Read online. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman.

Content note: Miscarriage/stillbirth, violent labor.

Fifty sleeping women set off for Titan, populating a mothership whose purpose is both figurative and literal. The problem is that only one of the women managed to become, and stay, pregnant. For all the other forty-nine, either the procedure didn’t work or they awoke before the end of nine months, miscarrying. Now Kyana is awake…and the news is not good.

It’s a rather horrific story, not because it is gruesome or gory or particularly vivid, but just because of the strength of the sadness that comes with that much loss of life and hope. It’s much easier to deal with the abstract notion of the end of the human race, when the last adult dies and there are no new babies left to be born. It’s another when those babies die before they have even had a chance to live. There is a twist of hope at the end, but it’s hardly enough to offset all the bleakness.