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Two That Came True

Two That Came True

Collects two stories, “Surviving” – which won the Theodore Sturgeon Award for best science-fiction story of 1986 – and “Not Without Honor.”


On Cloudrock the penalty for imperfection is death: death by the long fall into the void, through the poisonous mists and gases that rise from the deadlands far, far below.

The two tribes who survive on the Rock, the tribes of Day and Night, keep their families tight, their bloodlines pure and true, by incest, by cannibalism and by murder. Parcelling out their tiny world in measures of light and time, they wrap themselves in ritual and taboo, each family denying the presence of the other. Then came the Shadow.

Born to the matriarch Catrunner, the Shadow is deformed – a neuter dwarf – a natural candidate for instant death. But for this mutant, fate intervenes. The Shadow may live – on the condition that none acknowledge its presence: one word, one glance, and the Shadow will join its luckless kin in the long death-flight.

Surviving on the outskirts of the family, the Shadow’s very existence creates an unspoken question that challenges the ties that bind. This is the Shadow’s tale…
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