"Stone Wall Truth" is a 2010 science fiction novelette by Caroline M. Yoachim. It is about a woman whose job is to torture and then heal the enemies of her state.
Njeri is a doctor… of sorts. That is, she sews people back together after cutting them apart and hanging them on the Wall of Truth! Does that sound a little disconcerting? That’s because it is! Anyway, this story follows Njeri as she teaches her young apprentice the finer arts of cutting and sewing human beings. Why do they do this you ask? Because the ruling general of their land (who changes frequently, by the way) demands it of them. Yeah, instead of killing his enemies (which would anger the ghosts of their ancestors) the general now stakes them out on a strange crystalline wall to face the darkness inside of them. Nope, not a pleasant experience at all. And after Njeri is chastised by a childhood friend she is about to learn even more about what kind of pain the wall can bring.
Some Juicy Tidbits About This Story
- Word count: 8,081 (16 pages)
- This story was nominated for the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novelette.
- The interesting ideas in this story reminded me of a cross between anatomy class and Hyperion’s Shrike!
Where To Find Stone Wall Truth
- This story originally appeared in the February 2010 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. Read it if you got it!
- You can read "Stone Wall Truth" for free online at the author’s web site – thanks to Jason Sanford for the recommendation!
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
Was "Stone Wall Truth" right up your alley? Then maybe you’ll like “Through Thy Bounty” by Lucy A. Snyder – about a chef who is forced to cook humans as gourmet meals for ruthless aliens!