Starblind, Booklost, and Hearing the Songs of True Birds

Historian Vitalius Cotton’s brother has been cursed by prophecy since they were kids. Vitalius has a chance to return his brother to a normal life, but it probably bring huge changes to the city, it’s history, and Vitalius’ own life.

“Starblind” is set in the same city as my previous stories “Moonless” and “Sunfast.”

His neighbors on either side were in shouting moods. To the left, something about cabbages and winter floods. To the right, something about riots in the market at the Great Round, smoke twisting upward like a braided rope, something about a woman with rust-covered hands who’d bring peace, something about snail shells.

Vitalius doubted his brother’s words would be much different from the rest of the cacophony. Any trace of his own personality had been swept away by the endless rush of prophecy. Still, Vitalius pressed his ear against the cage-wire.

“We find what we need by falling,” said Aurelin. “He’s got all the birds.”

An acolyte walked by, one of the usual guards. “Yeah,” he said. “Aurie’s been quieter the last day or so.”

“The mask answers,” said Aurelin. “Every step, an hour. Every rope, a knot.”

“Starblind, Booklost, and Hearing the Songs of True Birds” appeared in the July/August issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

You can buy copies of the magazine online through Weightless Books. (Physical editions should be available from early July through late August 2022.)

Crow Man