The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu

I re-read “The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees” by E. Lily Yu yesterday.  Find it here, at Clarkesworld.

What a wonderful story that is. It brings “Animal Farm” by George Orwell to mind for obvious reasons – anthropomorphic animals doing political things. “Animal Farm”, however, had a connection to actual political figures, and that got me wondering if E. Lily Yu was saying something as specific as Orwell in her story.

I poked around and found an interview with her, where she was asked about the story. She talked about entomology and a course she took on postcolonialism… and then she said this beautiful thing:

These are guesses. I’m waffling. There are some stories that come to you by grace, or by a neutrino hitting your brain, whose origins are unfathomable. This was one of them.


Before I read that, I felt that the story was about political realities that come about as a result of violence and fear. The story still is about that, but now there is the beauty of grace and a neutrino.

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