"The Valley of the Gardens" is a 2007 science fiction novelette by Tony Daniel. It is the story of a special geographic region on the alien planet of Cangarriga, and how it got that way.
A Great Gift!
So last month I helped my friend John choose the short stories for his Classic Science Fiction reading group. I quite enjoyed it, not only because it was really fun but also because I “killed 2 birds with 1 stone” and used those stories for my weekly reviews here on this site! Anyway, when all was said and done John sent me a great book of short stories, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 2, as a thank-you gift for helping him! What a pleasant surprise! The book is packed full of great SciFi stories, so I thought I would pick one at random and give it a try this week. Turns out it was a really great story – and we can all thank John for it being featured here this week!
Mac is a special type of farmer – he grows stone roses which have special physical properties and uses them to make a living producing portals. So it is understandable that he is a little bit worried when the desert begins encroaching on his territory. As he fixes his broken fence he meets a fascinating nomad girl and they fall in love – aw…how sweet! Anyway, after she gives him a special telescope he suddenly receives an off-world visitor who tells him quite a tale – a story about humanity’s last stand in a ancient war, how the roses got their special properties and, of course, the unique woman who is behind it all. Will Mac believe him though? Let’s hope so, because he is kind of the key to setting everything right again!
Some Interesting Tidbits
- Page count: 26 pages
- Did you know that Tony Daniel is an editor at Baen Books? Yep. You can learn more about this awesome science fiction writer on Wikipedia.
Where To Find The Valley of the Gardens
- This novelette first appeared in the 2007 anthology The New Space Opera – edited by Gardner Dozois.
- You can read "The Valley of the Gardens" for free online at Scribd.
- Obviously, this story also appears in the fantastic collection The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 2 – which is where I read it.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you enjoyed "The Valley of the Gardens" then you might like “A Dry, Quiet War” – which is also by Tony Daniel. That one is about a hero from the war at the end of time who returns to his home planet and discovers even more trouble!