Well, I got around to reading these short stories. I guess I could say that Blue Planet has had some profound effects on me, stretching ten years back at least. The ants were something I was thinking about back in 2012 already, while in the military service. Sitting on the sand in the middle of the summer, away from home, thinking about BP.
My thoughts on "Morrigan in Shadow":
I'm not much of a reviewer, so it's hard to point out all the good stuff. The writing was superb, the characters as engaging as ever. I liked the chapter/time division. All of this applies to "Sunglare" as well.
So I will go to my subjective point of critique. I don't like the ending
It's imaginative, fantastically described, moment by moment, yet feels utterly out of place.
The way I see Laporte's story, is as follows. She needs to let go of her emotional attachments, even her humanity, to discover greater truths about existence, the universe and her role in it. Just as Aken did before her. Laporte abandoned Simms to join the Nagari (Fedayeen). She had to commit atrocities in the process, however distasteful and horrible they may be to her, to get "to the other side". To question everything Ubuntu had taught her. All the things her own society valued over all else. Also to let go of the human ego, the pathologic source of all the mindless killing, to find her purpose as part of the whole. Observing that even Ubuntu, for all its promise, was a failure, since it cannot survive war. She needs to let go off Simms, instead of clinging to her. Are the Nemesis, by their design, bound to end all petty warfare?
The plot was somewhat going this way (for me anyway), and all of a sudden, boom, turnaround
And we get a traditional ending. A Nemesis ship exploding. Our two heroines flying into the proverbial sunset. Oh well. Just like the Death Star. Just like Captain Sheridan nuking the Thirdspace alien ship. Just like quite a lot of other endings. Oh well. A tad disappointing. That's my humble opinion. Technically it was such an awesome read though. But when Simms wakes up on that back seat, well, that's a great metaphor of how her inclusion in the end felt. And the whole ending as well. Simms so mad. "What the **** am I still doing here?".
Battuta's writing is an excellent way to learn new words (if bothered), since English is not my native language. I don't know who made all the tech room entries in BP, but those are really good for expanding one's vocabulary, while keeping the content extremely interesting. Very valuable. Thank you.
I love the ending of Tenebra in WiH, that is quite something.
Back to Morrigan... Thanks for the creative use of ants, this really makes me happy. Much praise. 10/10 just for the ants. Maybe it is Nagari, but the ants have been crawling around in my head ever since WiH came out all those years ago. Life-affecting stories.