Broken Chains

1 star1 star1 star1 star0.75 star
"Ethical Perspectives on History" seems like an innocuous enough elective...until the teens taking it discover the genetic engineering that created the Alliance's alien races wasn't as perfect as they were told as children and that their new teacher, Kellen Grove, might have his own reasons for his passions. This is a senior year they'll never forget.

Previously published as "A Distant Sun."

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About M.C.A. Hogarth

Daughter of two Cuban political exiles, M.C.A. Hogarth was born a foreigner in the American melting pot and has had a fascination for the gaps in cultures and the bridges that span them ever since. She has been many things—-web database architect, product manager, technical writer and massage therapist—-but is currently a full-time parent, artist, writer and anthropologist to aliens, both human and otherwise.

Her fiction has variously been recommended for a Nebula, a finalist for the Spectrum, placed on the secondary Tiptree reading list and chosen for two best-of anthologies; her art has appeared in RPGs, magazines and on book covers.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Elizabeth McCoy on Oct. 23, 2011 : star star star star star
A teacher with a sorrowful secret (or two!), a student with a crush, and a lot of history of the Pelted. The bits of biology delighted me all out of proportion.

Sounds simple, and there's very little "Exciting! Action!", but very rewarding for fans of the universe and fans of student-teacher interactions (not just the one with the crush, but in general). The landscape of the school is also described vividly, so fans of nature will be happy, too.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Royce Day on June 27, 2011 : star star star star
A nice moody piece that points out the problems inherent in genetically "improving" on Humanity, which is that a lot of your work is going to be flawed in ways that won't be understood several generations down the line, and that your creations are going to have to live with your mistakes, both physically and emotionally.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: C. Caldwell on Feb. 22, 2011 : star star star star star
An excellent introduction to the author's Pelted universe. As a teacher, I appreciated Kellen's battles with the headmaster for equipment, field trips and the like. The interactions between Kellen and his students are handled well, and the bittersweet ending made me cry (which is a good thing in this case).
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Eric Hinkle on Dec. 12, 2010 : star star star star star
A Distant Sun is another great story from Micah Hogarth, and one I have longed for from, as it explains the history of the Pelted races in the universe where Alysha Forrest lives. We are shown the reality behind the idealized legends of the creation of these new races, and it is not a pleasant sight. The Pelted are still suffering from what humanity did in the process of creating them, something that both the history teacher protagonist and his lovely student Margeaux both end up understanding all too well.

Yet where many another writer would turn it into a simplistic condemnation of humanity, Ms. Hogarth rises above that to show us the good that can be found even in the thoughtless acts of the Pelted's makers. As we are told, for all their flaws, they made new peoples and cultures that saw and wondered and delighted in the universe around them, and nothing can take that away.

It's a amazing story with a heartwarming romance at its center. Buy it, read it, and delight in it.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: CelticMaenad on Oct. 31, 2010 : star star star star star
I was familiar with the author's work from her LiveJournal, and when I read the sample of this I knew I wanted to read more. This is a wonderful introduction to the Pelted (anthropomorphic races) and a beautiful story! I highly recommend this (and the other works by M.C.A. Hogarth too)!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: satyridae on Oct. 30, 2010 : star star star star star
This story seriously hit almost everything I love: education, history, transgressive relationships (but not TOO transgressive), medicine, alien culture, science as religion, and FURRIES. And angst and art and music. I love this story. It is awesome. If you don't like any of the above, you should read this story anyway and it might well change your mind.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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