Driftwood: where worlds go to die.
After the apocalypse, after most of a world has crumbled into ruin, the last, shattered fragments float through the cosmos until they fetch up against the Edge of Driftwood. There the survivors discover they are not alone: there are other worlds, that have suffered other disasters, and here the remnants struggle to survive. But nothing in Driftwood lasts forever; in time, everything fades, everything crumbles, everything goes away.
From the earliest days of the eponymous story of this setting, before I ever sold it anywhere, Driftwood had fans. More than any other short fiction of mine, these stories have excited commentary, interest, queries as to whether I intend to write more — in particular, a Driftwood novel. The simple answer was, no: a novel is a large, coherent thing, which is antithetical to the entire concept of the setting.
But a fix-up? All the existing short fiction, embedded in and given context by a frame story, with a brand-new novelette to flesh it out? That, my friends, is Driftwood in a nutshell.
Within the Shreds, a rumor goes around that Last has died. But who really was Last? Lying liar, or heroic savior? A mercenary, a charlatan, a legend? A man, an immortal — perhaps even a god?
- “Into the Wind”
They do their best to ignore what they have lost.
- “The Ascent of Unreason”
Only a lunatic would try to make a map of Driftwood.
- “Remembering Light”
At least they can take memories with them into the darkness.
- “A Heretic by Degrees”
When nothing in the world can save the king, his people look outside the world for help.
The first of the Driftwood stories. A young woman seeks out a man who has survived the death of his world for ages.
- “Smiling at the End of the World”
Not everyone faces the end the same way.