Sunday, May 11, 2014

Short Story Sunday: She Sees Ghosts

Title:  Cassandra

Author:  C. J. Cherryh

First Publication:  The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1978

Awards:  1979 Best Short Story Hugo Award,
1979 Best Short Story Locus Award, Nominee for 1979 Best Short Story Nebula Award

Cover Artists:  (1) Michael Whelan for "The Collected Short Stories of C. J. Cherryh", (2) David Hardy for "The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction"

From Visions of Paradise:  It was a deserving (Hugo) winner, the story of a woman who sees future dead people superimposed on the present, and what happens when she meets a man who is part of both images. A chilling story.

Back in my early days of reading the science fiction magazines, I was always excited to pick up the anniversary issues of "The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction".  The 29th anniversary special was one of the best.  In addition to Cherryh's "Cassandra", it also contained stories by Thomas M Disch, Stephen King (the first appearance of "The Gunslinger"), Terry Carr, and a classic by Michael Bishop ("Effigies").  Going up against tough competition, Cherryh managed to win the Best Short Story Hugo.

I hate to say much more than what was revealed in the quote from Bob Sabella's "Visions of Paradise" blog.  He did a perfect summary of this moving story.  From the tone of the story, the reader knows that this tale will not end well.  Cherryh does a great job of tapping in to the emotions and thoughts of someone with a talent that can be a gift and a curse at the same time.  It has appeared in many collections.  If you have not read it, I suggest hunting it down.  It was only the third non-novel written by Cherryh and it shows how good she is at any length.

I mentioned Bob Sabella's "Visions of Paradise" a few times.  You will also see that I added a label for it.  Bob passed away in late 2011.  I still find myself going back and revisiting his excellent blog.  Any time I review an author that I know he liked or a story that he discussed, I will add this label in memory of Bob.

I read this story as part of "Once Upon a Time VIII".

No comments: