Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree


I'm in e-print again!  My story "The Woman Who Shook the World-Tree" is up at  You can read it there for free.

This is the fourth of five stories in David G. Hartwell's "Palencar Project."  David sent copies of John Jude Palencar's evocative painting above to a number of science fiction writers and challenged us to write stories for it.

It is not ego that makes me feel that my story is the best but, rather, a perfectly natural tendency to write the sort of fiction that one likes most.  I'm sure the other writers feel the same way about their own stories.  Nevertheless, there's a lot of fun to be had, reading all the stories and deciding which you prefer and under which conditions.

For me, the chief appeal of this story is Mariella Coudy, its protatonist.  She was an admirable character and one whom I enjoyed spending time with.

You can read the story here.

And you can find Palencar's website here.



HANNAH'S DAD said...

That was top quality.

This is a bad habit - or at the least something I should keep to myself - but I can't help, when reading your stories, of saying "that's the Van Vogt, that one's the Zelazny, that one's the Wolfe" etc. Not with all of them by any means - there's any number of Swanwicks as well - but sometimes I can't resist. (And just because online communication is *all about* miscommunication, this is in no way a thing I dissaprove of.)

Anyway - this would be the Tiptree, not just because of the thematic links to 'Forever to a Hudsons Bay Blanket, but because of the cruelty of the story, and because of who turns out to be responsible for Dr Coudy's woes.

Unknown said...

You did it again (like with Dala Horse) creating a morsel of e-fiction to feed the soul.... It is SF at its best... human, deep science speculation, and beautiful.

Michael Swanwick said...

I can see what you mean, HD -- though I wrote the story in a white heat, with not a thought of Sheldon. And I understand what you mean by "cruelty" and do not disagree with it, though the story was not meant that way. Mostly, I thought of it as a sweet story of love attained against all odds. I believe (I began to write "suspect" but, no, I believe) that Tiptree must have felt the same way about some of her stories.

None of which is meant to gainsay anything you wrote. I appreciate your thoughtful analysis. It differs from mine only by nuance.