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Nyri A. Bakkalian

Confluence: A Person-Shaped Story


2023 NYC BBA Distinguished Favorite

Wielder and blade. One heart together. In the spring of 2011, River Victoria Eginian felt useless as she surveyed the ruins of her wife's hometown. She was still adjusting to her cybernetic prostheses and coming out as transgender, and she hated being on the sidelines of the recovery efforts. However, she soon met the local combat dolls, cybernetic beings who were helping to clear debris and find survivors in places that no human could reach. River was envious of their abilities, but she also saw a path to new wholeness and purpose. River's wife, Dr. Isawa Kasu, was the daughter of a long line of warrior-scholars from Japan's northern Tohoku region. She had been raised to be her demanding father's heir apparent, but she abandoned this role to be true to herself as a transgender woman. A brilliant cyberneticist and hands-on leader, Kasu leaped headfirst into helping her wife remake herself as a blue-haired combat doll with the new name River M59A1. In the spring of 2022, Yui め-633, a retired combat doll, runs a bakery with her spouse in Sendai. Her chassis was made by the defunct Nogami Corporation, and she struggles to keep herself alive and her doors open. With no continued support or maintenance from her manufacturer and the rising costs of Nogami parts, it seems inevitable that Yui and thousands of other Nogami-type combat dolls will eventually be forced out of existence. Embracing their roles as Wielder and blade, Kasu and River fight as one heart together to bring justice and wholeness to those most in need.
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Publication Year:

Balance of Seven



Category Awarded:


Science Fiction

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