**** Blood Grains Speak Through Memories – Jason Sanford
Long in the past, facing an environmentally ravaged world, nanobots were programmed to protect the land. The nanotech symbiotically infects appointed guardians, directing their actions. All other humans are forced to live a nomadic existence, never settling down, never damaging flora or fauna. Inarguably, the land thrives – but the rules of the nanobots are harsh and inflexible, and sometimes, in conflict with human compassion or desires.
Here, we meet one particularly dissatisfied ‘guardian,’ a woman who has been through pain and loss. When a travelling family begs succor from her for an emergency, she comes into conflict with a programmed mandate once again. Will she be able to circumvent the dictates of the ‘grains’?
Imaginative and original, with great characterization.