These stories were included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology.
Recordings of a More Personal Nature
Published: November 2013 in Apex Magazine
Setting: the Temple of some other world
Summary: Access to the Archives has suddenly become difficult. This is causing problems in completing administrative and political tasks. Archivists like Idriwu, who grew up accessing the Archives and therefore have part of their personalities within the Archive, are distraught to lose the connection. Even with aides (like drugs), access is becoming more difficult. Idriwu comes up with the idea of writing down the Archives so the information is still available when access to the Archives ends.
Final thoughts: An interesting concept that the culture would never have developed writing because they have perfect oral transmission of information via the Archive and the archivists. It certainly gives members of the Temple power, but no more than would be obtained if those were the only people who could read and write. I can’t believe any one person would be able to come up with a system of writing in a short time period, even starting with some rudimentary signs.
Title comes from: The assistant to Idriwu made the argument that the archivists should be allowed to make written recordings of their lives spent in the Archive as well as matters of state and history.
Mouse Choirs of the Old Matra
Published: July 2013 in Demeter’s Spicebox
Genre: fairy tale
Setting: the island plains in a distant past
Summary: A wise wizard who lives on the island plains makes friends with a mouse one day. When he feeds the mouse, she turns into a young maiden. The maiden decides to live with the wizard and they spend many happy days together. One day, the maiden decides she wants to marry, but only the best of the best. So, the wizard climbs on his trusty steed and looks to find the best of the best.
Final thoughts: This was a sweet story that followed a very traditional arc. I wasn’t surprised at any point in the story, which made it feel like I’d read it before, or at least something very similar.
Title comes from: When the maiden married, the mouse choirs sang for days under the mountain called Old Matra.