Saturday, April 26, 2014

"The Astrologer's Telling" up at Daily Science Fiction

...charnel winds that brush the pallid stars and make them flicker low.

Ever since I first encountered that nightmare image, from H.P. Lovecraft's prose-poem "Nyarlathotep," I have wanted to write a story about the stars going out. A morbid urge? Absolutely. But there's a certain virtue in morbidity; it makes me thoughtful and perhaps compassionate, if that's a thing a writer of apocalyptic fiction can be.

And so "The Astrologer's Telling" comes from a different philosophy than Lovecraft's more nihilistic landscape.I hope it proves, as well as terrifying and mournful, perhaps a little inspiring. I spent some time worrying about the science of kindling and extinguishing stars, before I at last embraced the fact that my interest was much less scientific than artistic and emotional. And I hope the story is more impactful for it.

About this time last year, this story received an Honorable Mentions in the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing (whew! I've never been able to write the full name without looking it up)I am very grateful to Rick Wilbur and Sheila Williams for constructive commentary after the contest.