"Called Out to Snow Crease Farm"
It's taken me until today to read this past week's story in Strange Horizons, but I really enjoyed "Called Out to Snow Crease Farm" by Constance Cooper. It's the story of a new vet working with animals she wasn't trained on, animals that she grew up considering evil. Out in this poor, frontier-type region where she was sent to work, though, the animals serve an important function. I think it was really the fact that on this frontier, people end up with lichen growing on their faces, and there's no way to stop it that drew me in. What does that say about me?
The story definitely has the feel of a setting that could give rise to many fascinating stories, so I hope there are more someday. (Cooper has a pretty extensive bibliography, it appears, so perhaps there already are more...maybe some detective work is in order.) Go. Read it.