June 12 2012

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu is a short story nominee for the 2012 Hugo award. It is a very well written story that begins with the discovery that a species of paper wasp creates intricate maps upon the paper of their nests. The wasp society (they have a sentient POV) is somewhat imperialistic but scholarly. Without giving too much away, the wasps come into conflict with a bee colony that they subjugate. This subjugation forces a splinter group of bees to embrace an anarchistic philosophy. The results of the splintering and colonization are somewhat explored.
The story feels as though it should be an allegory for something–perhaps along the path of following natural inclinations. The allegorical nature seems somewhat secondary to the craft of the story. It worked well and was enjoyable as a tale, but left me somewhat wondering at the point–which may have been the point.

You can read a copy online here.



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Posted June 12, 2012 by user in category "Book review", "Hugos

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