Monday, April 11, 2011

Aaron's Story Recommendation of the Week :: The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

StoriesNobody who reads this blog needs to be told that Neil Gaiman is a pretty fair writer, but just in case anyone missed this one, the Story Recommendation of the Week is for "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains" by Neil Gaiman, from the original anthology Stories, edited by Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio.

The first-person narrator of "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains" is a very small but very dangerous man. He hires Calum MacInnes as a guide to take him to a mysterious cave in the black mountains on the Misty Isle, where a fabulous treasure awaits them. They converse on the journey, in beautifully written passages like this:
I thought about it. "Sometimes I think that truth is a place. In my mind, it is like a city: there can be a hundred roads, a thousand paths, that will all take you, eventually, to the same place. It does not matter where you come from. If you walk toward the truth, you will reach it, whatever path you take."

Calum MacInnes looked down at me and said nothing. Then, "You are wrong. The truth is a cave in the black mountains. There is one way there, and one only, and that way is treacherous and hard, and if you choose the wrong path you will die alone on the mountainside."
In the course of their conversations, we learn the two have reasons to fear and despise each other. Their past, and the nature of the treasure they seek, will lead them to some terrible choices.

Gaiman coedited Stories, an anthology designed to highlight the storytelling talents of a wide variety of authors from different genres. It includes a number of excellent writers, but none of them could hope to surpass the storytelling skills of Gaiman himself.


Jordan Lapp said...

Hi Aaron,

This is Jordan Lapp, a previous WotF winner. We sent you an invite to a google group for WotF 27, but it doesn't look like you've logged in yet. Could you please check your spam filter for an invite? If it's not there, contact me and I'll re-invite you!

Aaron Hughes said...

Thanks, Jordan!