This Shall Serve As a Demarcation by Bogi Takács

Colonists to a planet of ever shifting borders of water and earth wage war. Land settlements push land foam into the sea, and sea settlements bury them back through the power of suffering army magicians. But there is a third party, with their own side to the war, breathing the planet’s unfiltered air.


2457 words

Possible Tags: sci-fi, queer, magic, decolonializing

Also a podcast 😄


Why Recommend?

The image of the tiles of the war map is quite compelling at the beginning of the story. The scope of the problem, the lives involved.

Magic is technology, but that involves overriding a person’s nervous system and forcing the power to move mountains out of them. A lot of pain, in the name of serving the people. Decolonizing the word ‘serve’, the word ‘our people’, ‘guiding’ the foam; the narrator relearns a lot as they adjust to a culture not bent on war.

The planet is magic. It responded to the Collaborators’ wishes to freeze the land/sea manipulation with a mountain range. If only Earth border wars were so simple.

The map is also an issue–it is very human to map things, to try to gather as much useful knowldge, useful in our sense. I’d like to read more about what the planet thinks of this disturbance, and if the presence of settlements will cause irreparable damage through all time.


The Author

Bogi Takács is a neutrally gendered Hungarian Jewish author who moved to the US. E writes both speculative fiction and poetry, and eir works have been published in a variety of venues like Strange Horizons, Apex, Lackington’s, and GigaNotoSaurus, among others.

Eir website:






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