Tower of the Rosewater Goblet by Nin Harris

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: January 2016 in Strange Horizons (you can also listen to the story at that link)

Genre: fantasy

Setting: some world other than Earth

Summary: We have a nesting set of stories. In one set, we see references to the importance of printing presses to disseminate stories and information. In another, we have Erheani, a storyteller from a minority group, tell wonderful stories that are stolen by the Master Storytellers and pawned off as their own. The final set is a retelling of the tortoise and the hare as a search for the Tower of the Rosewater Goblet in order to save a princess from death by the Peasant Plague.

Final thoughts: I had a hard time keeping all the storylines straight. There were several versions of what happened to Erheani, and I wasn’t sure which was the true story. That may be the point of the story – the rewriting of history and the co-opting of stories that happens over time. I also had a hard time seeing how the Tower of the Rosewater Goblet was a retelling of the tortoise and the hare, except for the fact that there was a tortoise in the story. Overall, I was confused.

Title comes from: It was the name of the story Erheani told within the short story.

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