I’ve been informed that it is customary to make Hugo-nominated works freely available to the public during the voting stage, so here is “OPERA VITA AETERNA”, a nominee for the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. Click on the title link or on the cover image to download the free epub. If you prefer Kindle format, there is also a mobi version available for download.
There has been a fair amount of discussion of the novelette online, almost entirely by people who not only have not read it, but know absolutely nothing about it. I would suggest that anyone who is genuinely interested in excellence in SF/F literature simply read the work and judge it on its merits. And for those who are more interested in thought-policing the genre, they can simply do as some have suggested, “rank a nominated work below “No Award””, and thereby provide us with an accurate measure of the degree to which SF/F fandom is influenced by the politically correct Left.
From the Amazon reviews of THE LAST WITCHKING:
- The masterpiece of the trio, though, is Opera Vita Aeterna. At its core
is the dialogue between an aging monk and a long-lived elven sorcerer in
unwitting search of his own salvation. Day again employs both allegory
and tremendous subtlety as the more experienced and intelligent elf is
perplexed and impressed by the power of eternal truth. Aeterna is both
clever and touching and might be the best story Day has produced to
- Opera Vita Aeterna: This is a brilliant, five-star story, and the
best in the book, in my opinion. For me to rate a story as brilliant,
it must be beautifully written, have complex characters, and leave me
with a note of lingering intangibility. The elf Bessarias is on a quest
for God, whom he doesn’t necessarily find. Through his searching,
though, he leaves an important legacy behind him. There lies the
intangibility–no personal, cathartic moment, but, instead, a glimpse of
something far greater.
- Opera Vita Aeterna is a deeply catholic work of the height of beauty,
the power of events long after the events are forgotten, and the
complexity and density of the Christian model of hope. Its most elegant
turn is its ability to transform a deft and intriguing story about a
strange sorcerer’s encounter with a rural cloister into a meditation on
the nature of eternity. It is rare to describe a story as both
restrained and florid, but its details are so rich and believable and
its voice is so even. Read it, then read it again after reading Summa
- All too brief, it balances the darkness of this book’s title story with a
reminder that though darkness may engulf the world and seem to triumph,
within the light there is a power that endures, which darkness cannot
comprehend. All together, The Last Witchking is a significant offering by Vox, one I am still digesting and will read again.