This response to the classic story by Ursula LeGuin has gotten a bit of a buzz around the internet with discussions on Metafilter and Hacker News, as well as the Clarkesworld Discord server.

Like the original story the philosophical nature of this sparks discussion and thoughts with plenty of ways to interpret it. This story even outright state the different metaphors for the kid in the hole. I follow probably the most obvious take on it, as seeing it as a reflection on the rich western countries being dependent on exploiting third world countries.

This story is a bit more blunt in what it wants the reader to think about, and it becomes rather self referential and meta with characters in the story having the same sort of reflections on what is going on and what the kid in the hole means. The story reads as it was a historic article on the events, which works well enough, but lacks a bit of a personal anchor for the read to engage with.

Read in Clarkesworld February 2024
Rating: 3+