My short story ‘Shitmining’ was just published in Australian science fiction/fantasy magazine Aurealis. Buy a copy here.
In the beginning of the world, Pachacamac, the male child of the Sun and the Moon, created a man and a woman. But he did not supply them with food. As the man lay dying of starvation, the woman prayed to the Sun for help. In answer to the prayer, the Sun descended from the heavens, gave her relief, and impregnated her with his fertilising rays.
—Origin story of the Peruvian coast
I first see the island from the air, arriving the way the birds do. Ten thousand cormorants scatter to make room as our helicopter shudders in the ferocious winds and then perches on the uneven surface below. Even while I’m waiting for the blades to stop rotating and the dust to settle, my nostrils wrinkle up in disgust. So, the rumours about the awful smell are true.