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The Cartography of Sudden Death
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The Cartography of Sudden Death

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  96 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Time travel doesn’t actually solve problems. It just makes them more complex…

When Ythna is sent to serve the Beldame Thakkra, she is only a child, but as she grows, so does her love of her mistress. When tragedy strikes, Ythna has no idea what to do, or how to save herself from Obsolescence, until she meets the mysterious Jemima Brookwater. Ms. Brookwater claims to come fr
ebook, 32 pages
Published January 15th 2014 by Tor Books
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last year, amy(other amy) tipped me off to this cool thing she was doing: the short story advent calendar, where you sign up to this thingie here and you get a free story each day.

i dropped the ball and by the time i came to my senses, it had already sold out, so for december project, i'm going rogue and just reading a free online story a day of my choosing. this foolhardy endeavor is going to screw up my already-deep-in-the-weeds review backlog, so i don't think i w
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
This was a really absorbing short story. Very enjoyable and it didn't feel like it cut corners with detail. It hit all the right notes for me. I'd love to read more about Professor Brookwater's adventures through time!
The Cartography of Sudden Death is a delicious title for short story. With those few words imagery and plots begin to weave. In Anders' story the cartography of sudden death is a form of time travel using the paradoxes generated in unplanned deaths to ride the ripples to other points in the timeline. In general the concept is strong, but it would seem more likely that moments of paradox or divergence would provide dimensional rather than chronological pathways. The writing lacks poetry and leave ...more
Gina Arnone
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
This was a very interesting short story. It left me wanting more. I think that was a big pert of the problem. The being was really good, the end felt rushed and cut off. It was a quick and enjoyable read. For me possibly the best part is it makes me want to search out more by this author.
Hisham El-far
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
A fresh take on time-travel stories, well written and paced, but the ending was a bit flat. It felt like the story should have continued much further in its narrative, maybe as the foundation for a novella or even a full novel.

I want to know what happens next dammit! :)
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I would really love to read more about both Ythna/Dhar and Professor Jemima Brookwater. This short story felt like a brief glimpse into a world that is a bit terrifying and really interesting.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting idea for time travel, but frustrating as a short story because there could have been so much more!
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Lovely prose, but not much of a plot, rather bland. Reads like a prologue to a longer story.
Carroll Nelson Davis
Kind of a darker Doctor Who. Treats history as a landscape of accumulated causality with "significant" deaths (ones affecting lots of people) as milestones, and you travel through time through "torsions" at those points. Large-scale settings and lots of action, but no real conclusion, just an exit. The beginning of a series, perhaps?
Deborah Replogle
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short story really. An interesting take on time travel.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
My rating: 3 stars

I picked up this short story because of reading Charlie Jane Anders’s All the Birds in the Sky and because it had the word “cartography” in the title (I’m a huge map geek). You can find this short story at

This was an ok book with an interesting story and interesting world that it took place in. But, it’s a little confusing and it did not fully capture my interest. The cartography thing did not pan out as there was not much “map” busines
Alex Sarll
If America produced a far fightier, but also female-led, version of Doctor Who - and if the set designer were Clark Ashton Smith with a frankly stupid budget - you might end up with something not unlike this.
V. Z.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Loved it! After reading, I noticed how many readers did not like the ending, but I think that (view spoiler) However, I would really enjoy reading more about Professor Brookwater and Ythna.
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this unusual time travel adventure. Now I want more!
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
a lot of action but could have used more plot. overall, pretty good for a short story.

An excellent beginning, but not self-contained enough as a short story. The ending just trails off, leaving a "where's the rest" feeling.
James Ward
rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2014
Kimberly Karalius
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I'm the author of All the Birds in the Sky, and the forthcoming The City in the Middle of the Night. Plus a short story collection called Six Months, Three Days, Five Others, and a novella called Rock Manning Goes For Broke.

I’m probably the only person to have become a fictional character in a Star Trek novel and in one of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books.

I used to write for a site calle