I just read Brooke Bolander's short story "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies", which has been nominated for both Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Short Story after its publication less than a year ago (November 2016) in Uncanny Magazine. It's very short and you can read it in full here (warning: contains strong language and potentially disturbing content, about assault and gruesome revenge).

My question is, exactly what manner of being is the narrator?

We can tell from the story that she's one of a group of sisters from a millennia-old civilisation, who speak an ancient language, possess great power, and can pass in and out of the "mortal plane". Does the text or subtext suggest a particular civilisation and language, a particular kind of mythical creature? Or is it meant to be vague about her exact nature and leave it to our imaginations?

  • 2
    Thanks to @BESW for making me aware of this story by one of his tweet-posts in chat.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 15, 2017 at 2:09
  • A harpy? (Should that "Who" in the title be a "What"?)
    – user14111
    Jul 15, 2017 at 7:57
  • @user14111 Well, who or what. I don't know if there might be a specific being she's modelled on or just a specific class of being (or neither).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 15, 2017 at 11:34


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