The painful process of giving up what isn‘t yours

The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume Six 

I will update this anthology as I go along…

– EXILE’S END by Carolyn Ives Gilman
“Exile’s End is a complex, sometimes uncomfortable examination of artifact repatriation and cultural appropriation. An artifact of indescribable and irreplaceable beauty created by an “extinct” culture has been the basis of another culture’s origin stories. The race who created the artifact has survived on a distant world and has sent a representative to reclaim it, throwing everything into question.“

I understand the conflict and tend to agree that artifacts belong to their origin countries. But I also can also relate to Rues argument.

“At some point, great art ceases to be bound to the culture that produced it. It transcends ethnicity and identity and becomes part of the patrimony of the human race.“

Or is that just a way of justification for the countries that took that art? „Hey, it‘s part of our heritage, too, now. So it‘s ok not to return it!“ Food for thought.

The culture of the Manhu destroying everything they own every three generations—not sure that would work in real life. It doesn‘t make sense to me to destroy everything and force your culture not to prosper.

The writing of the story itself was well done, I liked the characters, the plot held dramatic tension and I was emotionally engaged. I will look at other works by the author. ★★★★☆

Can be read for free here.