Year of publication: 2016
Sequence of publisher: A tor.com original
Tara Isabella Burton
Science fiction, Story
Read a fragment illustrations
Tara Isabella Burton THE DESTROYER I. Long before my mother destroyed the world, her experiments were quieter, more contained. They did not obliterate continents. They did not rack up the dead. She began as a domestic researcher in the household of an Umbrian merchant, engineering fish with mirrored scales. She told me how he loved to see his own face reflected, one and then a thousand and then another hundred times; how he filled the fountains with so many that there was no room to breathe or swim; how she woke up one morning to find that they had devoured one another, and left the fountains overflowing with blood. He did not recognize her genius. For him she was only a carnival magician: a maker of flower stems that shattered like glass, and three-headed dogs, and the many-faced prisms that years later gave me nightmares of mirrors that did not end. Women’s work, he said. Not science. So she moved on. She spent five years in Friuli, making...