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“The City of the Tree”

The tree dominated everything. The sky above, the sea below, the earth on which it stood, and the city that sheltered beneath its leaves. Its branches stretched out over the streets and houses of Cahuei, rope-twisted as if by wind, but a century of hurricanes would not have been enough to sculpt the wood of this impossible cypress.


This short story takes place in the same setting as the Varekai novellas, but in a different part of the world, with different characters. (If I continue with Ree’s story someday, she may find herself in the city of Cahuei.) Its eponymous tree is an homage to the Monterey cypresses of northern California, where I live.

It was published in issue #36 of Uncanny Magazine, in October 2020.


I love how the story takes on recovery, takes on the wounds of occupation […] [It’s] complex and layered and complete, and it’s a great read!

Charles Payseur, Quick Sip Reviews

An enjoyable mini-epic

Paula Guran, Locus