A Plant (Whose Name is Destroyed) By Seth Dickinson is a short story/study in the nature and specifics of divinity, with a touch of inescapable heartache. Just what the doctor ordered for a Loathsome Summer.
“I was Enshagag, born to ease Enki”
Naveen is in a happy relationship with the divine being known as Hayden. He knows this, because Hayden’s beer is always the perfect temperature, all the trains run on time for his sake and men flee in terror of him. He also sort of bends causality by merely being there.
“Everything has been fixed in place like the bones of a small fish, like the jewels set into the crown of the Lord of Dilmun”
I’ll be honest here: I never really like philosophically-centered stories. I have never had any preference for stories concerning free will, or the specifics of love and loss detailed in the grand scheme of things, mostly because most of these stories are vacuous black holes of ‘feels’, held together by spit and pretentiousness.
A Plant (whose Name is Destroyed) on the other hand, does nothing of the sort: instead, it outlines a mystery, resolves it, presents a pretty awesome premise and then outlines it in perfect ambiguity. It’s not artsy and it’s not pretending it’s any deeper than it actually is. It is only a story about mortals and men, of free will and the Kishmet, of fate and destiny.
And you should totally give it a read.
- 4000 words-ish
- Seth Dickinson is a PhD student in social psychology at New York University. He is an alumnus of and instructor at the Alpha Young Writers Workshop, to which he owes it all.
- He has also probably gotten a degree at the Institute of Heartbreaks.
- You can find the story online, for free, here
Konstantine Paradias is a Greek science fiction and fantasy writer. He has a blog, called Shapescapes (shapescapes). There, you can find comic book and movie reviews, a collection of his short stories as well as lots of other (slightly unrelated) articles to while away the time. When he was a kid, he wanted to be a super-villain because he like, didn’t need your laws, man. He got over it when he got older.
For comments or plain old contact, you can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org