This episode is part of our 2019 Summer Spotlight, showcasing the work of the year’s major award finalists.
Shimmer is a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine.
Many thanks to Shimmer for the use of their issue cover art for this episode.
Sweden Admit to Racial Purification (from The Independent)
“The so-called sterilization laws were instituted by the Swedish parliament in 1934 and 1941. Both allowed sterilization without consent under certain conditions. The reasons (indications) to perform sterilizations were threefold: eugenics (race/genetic hygiene), social and medical. Of the total number of sterilized individuals, 93 percent were women.”
From the report “Steriliseringsfrågan i Sverige 1935 – 1975” / “The issue of sterilization in Sweden 1935–1975,” issued by Socialdepartementet / Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, Sweden, March 2000.
by Maria Haskins
1947, Västerbotten, Sweden
It’s Midsummer’s Eve and even this close to midnight there’s no darkness, only a long, translucent dusk that will eventually slip into dawn.
Britt and I are fifteen, and she has just come back from That Place, the one the adults won’t talk about even when they think I’m not listening. Something’s happened to her there, but I don’t understand what it is, and she can’t find the words to tell me.
We’re sitting on the wooden fence near my family’s potato patch, looking down the slope at the red-painted barn and stable, watching the hare. He sits upright on his haunches by the forest’s edge, ever watchful, bending now and then to nibble grass and clover, grey-brown fur all sleek and trim, long ears turning.
The hare reminds me of Britt: dark eyes watching to see if you’ve come to kill it; long legs always ready to run.