Read Lullaby for a Lost World by Aliette de Bodard Online


Charlotte died to shore up her master's house. Her bones grew into the foundation and pushed up through the walls, feeding his power and continuing the cycle. As time passes and the ones she loved fade away, the house and the master remain, and she yearns ever more deeply for vengeance.At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management SCharlotte died to shore up her master's house. Her bones grew into the foundation and pushed up through the walls, feeding his power and continuing the cycle. As time passes and the ones she loved fade away, the house and the master remain, and she yearns ever more deeply for vengeance.At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied....

Title : Lullaby for a Lost World
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765389817
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 14 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Lullaby for a Lost World Reviews

  • karen
    2018-09-16 21:24

    They bury you at the bottom of the gardens—what’s left of you, pathetic and small and twisted so out of shape it hardly seems human anymore. The river, dark and oily, licks at the ruin of your flesh—at your broken bones—and sings you to sleep in a soft, gentle language like a mother’s lullabies, whispering of rest and forgiveness, of a place where it is forever light, forever safe.this is another one of those tor shorts that offers up some interesting imagery and the shape of a situation without actually bothering to tell a cohesive story, so at the end you're left scratching your head over what you've just read and wondering what you're supposed to do with it.the premise is intriguing - it opens in second person, which is always a pleasantly jarring device, and a scenario unfolds where we understand that in this unspecified location, unhealthy girls are ceremonially sacrificed in order to gratify the needs of a sentient house, overseen by a mysterious "master," in order to feed the magic that keeps the world at bay. the world outside the confines of the house is starving, war-torn, polluted, while the master enjoys fine wines and long life, hinting at sacrifices he has made which may or may not be greater than those of the girls feeding the house, the most recent of which, charlotte, is narrating this story, able to communicate and think in a limited fashion, and definitely still able to suffer.but the specifics of the situation are left unwritten: what the arrangement between the master and the house is, whether it's an unavoidable curse, who the people in the house - these "archivists" are, and what they're archiving, who the master is, what's the dealio, where this house came from, how much time is passing between sacrifices, etc etc etc. and without knowing the details or the context, we can't assess the situation - we don't know if these sacrifices are necessary or voluntary - whether it should be interpreted as morally wrong or whether not making these sacrifices would result in even worse consequences, which all means we have no sense of whether there is any heroism here, or any villainy. all we have are scattered images which don't quite make up a story. and that ending?? it's bonkersville with how much is unexplained. i mean, points for (view spoiler)[unicorn, but WHY unicorn and why does she kill the other girl herself before going out on a murder/vengeance spree? and what are the consequences of that? i mean, it seems like something a reader could get behind - "girl killed and fed to house turns into unicorn and kills all responsible," but without knowing the whys and wherefores, we have no foundation for understanding whether this unicorn killing-spree is for the greater good or as arbitrary as the sacrifices themselves, or who the other guilty parties are that are now going to face charlotte's rage (hide spoiler)] and that's pretty far as i can tell, this isn't a retelling of an already-known story, so it's not entitled to those storytelling shortcuts it could otherwise get away with if it were counting on the reader to fill in the allusive gaps. it gets many stars for atmosphere and imagery, but it's the literary equivalent of cotton candy - a rush of flavor that vanishes without satisfying any of your it for yourself here:["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Althea Ann
    2018-08-24 02:29

    Aliette de Bodard's website describes this story as "A dark and creepy answer to 'The Ones who Walk Away from Omelas.'" Since I re-read LeGuin's story ( earlier today, as well as another story by de Bodard ( (which I loved), it seemed like an auspicious time to go ahead and read this one. Unfortunately, 'Lullaby...' did not fare well by comparison. I think I would've liked it better without any mention of the LeGuin story. While it features a similar situation, rather than exploring a variety of complex ethical questions, it presents a comparatively simplistic dark-occult revenge story.In a post-apocalyptic scenario, one house, containing hundreds of survivors, is protected by the magic of a sorcerer who apparently gains his power through human sacrifice. His victims are the weak and the ill - apparently always young girls. The tale is told through the eyes of the ghost of one of these girls, roused by the impending fate of her successor.The sorcerer is unambiguously portrayed as a hypocrite acting out of self-interest, and no mention at all is made of the choices of those who shelter in the house's safety (the parallel to what was the main focus of LeGuin's piece). There are no 'ones who walk away' mentioned.In summary: decent occult horror; not an 'answer' to 'Omelas.'

  • Jason
    2018-08-21 20:27

    4 Stars Lullaby for a Lost World is a unique, interesting, and we'll written piece of short fiction by Aliette de Bodard. I am a huge fan of Aliette de Bodard and jump at opportunities to get her stuff, especially when you can read it for free on Lullaby for a Lost World is a short story about a draft girl.The imagery is cool and the story fast. The writing is amazing..."It doesn’t. It never will. Beneath the earth, you struggle to push at what holds you down—to gather shattered flesh and glistening bones, to rise up like the dead at the resurrection, raging and weeping and demanding justice, but nothing happens. Just a faint bulge on the grave, a slight yielding of the mud. Voiceless, bodiless, you have no power to move anything."A fun short read from an amazing author.

  • Eon ♒Windrunner♒
    2018-09-12 22:37

    3.5 StarsGloomy, but beautifully written.

  • GoldGato
    2018-09-07 02:24

    The short stories always act as a treat for me. If I can complete reading a pre-designated number of pages in my printed books for the week, then I get a treat. A Tor treat. Always at night, so that any sound anywhere causes me to hold my breath. Tor was made for Winter.This is one of the creepier Tor e-reads, and also one of the most puzzling. It grabbed me from the get-go, because the author does not give much away immediately. The reader learns, slowly, about the outside world which is violent and dying. Only the house survives, growing strong on the corpses of the young girls sacrificed for its ongoing health.This had me almost until the end, when the unexpected happened and I just didn't believe it. Like Disney gone evil. However, it did bring to mind the horror movie from the 1970s, Burnt Offerings, when an evil Oakland mansion goes after Karen Black, Oliver Reed, and Bette Davis, reviving itself from their deaths.I am on good terms with my house. I think.Book Season = Winter (you don't own me)

  • Lucas Mota
    2018-09-12 20:25

    We have here an awesome short story. That was my first read of a TOR story. It was also my first read of a story narrated in 2nd person. It was strange in the beggining, but ridiculously immersive afterwards. I loved the revelation and the way the author choose to tell me what the hell was going on in that god damn house.--Temos aqui um conto impressionante. Essa foi a minha primeira leitura de uma história TOR. Foi também a minha primeira leitura de uma história narrada em 2 ª pessoa. Era estranho no começo, mas ridiculamente imersivo depois. Eu amei a revelação e a maneira que a autora escolheu para me dizer o que diabos estava acontecendo naquela maldita casa.

  • Hannah
    2018-08-30 23:27

    4.5 stars, but rounded up because I enjoyed reading it and it's short.I could see this creepy tale growing out of the origins of one of the Parisian Houses in The House of Shattered Wings, also by Aliette de Bodard. In fact, I'm internally speculating (hoping?) this might end up being referenced in The House of Binding Thorns, which I still need to wait nearly a year to read.You can read it here.

  • Alexandra
    2018-09-20 21:22

    seemed like an interesting enough short story. girl dies and in some strange and mysterious way becomes part of her master's house, her bones becoming part of the foundation and what not.but my qualm is...absolutely NOTHING was explained. who was Charlotte? who was her master and why was he her master? who were the girls who came before her? who besides the master was involved in their deaths? (the story mentions the "dozens, hundreds of people who sent girls to die in agony for the good of the house.") and HOW was it good for the house?I'm all for weird stories but like...literally nothing was explained.and the ending made no sense to me. be confused for yourselves here:

  • Maryam
    2018-09-03 02:46

    " “Better the weak and the sick than all of us. I know it doesn’t excuse anything.”It doesn’t. It never will. "Great story, I read The House of Shattered by De Bodard earlier this year and I didn't like it at all however, this short story was everything I expected from her debut and more, great writing, creepy and beautifully sad.

  • Bobbi Jo
    2018-08-31 18:44

    This is basically a rewrite of The Lottery or The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas but with a stronger response from the sacrifice. Is it ever right to survive off of the suffering of others? Charlotte doesn't think so.

  • Erin (PT)
    2018-08-29 18:36

    This short would always be relevant, but amidst all the women rising up and speaking against their harassers and rapists, it feels especially sharp, particularly satisfying. Men have always built their houses on the foundation of women’s bones and the price is often too high. This is merely a more literal iteration of that vampiric predation.

  • Cady
    2018-08-24 00:39

    This wasn't bad at all, it was just kind of weird. The writing itself was beautiful and each sentence read like a dark poem. It had promise and I was intrigued by the premise, but at only 9 pages long it just had no time to fully develop.Charlotte died to shore up her master's house. Her bones grew into the foundation and pushed up through the walls, feeding his power and continuing the cycle. As time passes and the ones she loved fade away, the house and the master remain, and she yearns ever more deeply for vengeance.The mood and setting were really well done and I could easily picture it. I guess my biggest issue is that (view spoiler)[all of a sudden a unicorn popped out of the ground and impaled the very girl she was trying to save (hide spoiler)]. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Idk man. Read for free on Torhere.

  • Maggie Gordon
    2018-09-02 21:40

    Lullaby for a Lost World is an eerie and lyrical tale about a horrifying ritual and the child it abuses that has so much potential that just isn't met in such a short work. The piece relies on emotions built up over time, but given that this slow simmer was not something readers got to experience, the power of the climax is dulled. However, it's still chilling piece with beautiful visuals.

  • Sctechsorceress
    2018-09-18 23:28

    This is a really good story. It's more than a little creepy, but it's a powerful story even so. It's so short, that I'm not sure what I can say that won't be a spoiler. But at the end, I was not at all sure who was the monster.

  • Tokio Myers
    2018-09-10 01:23

    Very creepy and wonderfully written story.

  • Rachel Marks
    2018-08-27 01:37

    This story is stunning and eerie in its beauty. Highly recommend. I read it in a single sitting and wanted to go back and read it again. Aliette is a stand-out talent.

  • Kinsey_m
    2018-08-28 00:46

    This Tor short left me cold. There is nothing wrong about it, but it feels like I have read too many stories like this already. This is probably a personal peeve, but more and more I am getting fed up with stories about unfair conditions to women, sacrifices being asked from them, women being victims etc. even if the aim of the story is good and gender equality is far from being the norm, I much prefer stories with well-rounded female characters being themselves and doing stuff (not all of them need to be super-strong either). In that respect, and although it has nothing to do with the story at hand, I really loved the Area X trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer which it's great in many ways, but also in the way that it portrays its female characters.

  • Bridget Mckinney
    2018-08-26 23:37

    I didn't love Aliette de Bodard's The House of Shattered Wings as much as I love her Xuya stories or Obsidian and Blood, but I did enjoy this shorter story that feels as if it could be part of that alternate Paris universe. I only wish I'd waited another month to read it--it's a perfectly creepy, atmospheric story for reading with a cup of cider and a blanket while leaves are falling.Read more reviews at SF Bluestocking.

  • Alex Sarll
    2018-08-23 18:41

    Human sacrifices in the foundations to strengthen's a very long time indeed since that was routine. But what a great narratorial point of view, and what an uncomfortably apt image for all the others sacrificed in slightly less obvious ways since, in order that those who have may rest comfortable and secure from the world as experienced by those who have not.

  • Crini
    2018-09-19 22:25

    It's weird, dark and sad, so right up my alley and is one of those books that ends with me being all "what did I just read?" and I think I like it for that, but tbh, I'm not sure. Definitely liked the writing though.

  • Ricardo Santos
    2018-08-30 22:39

    Conto curtinho, mas de grande força e beleza. É uma história de terror gótica, escrita numa prosa, ao mesmo tempo, elegante e feroz. O mais interessante é o contraste entre a superfície de literatura do século 19 com um subtexto bem contemporâneo, feminista.

  • Gwyneth
    2018-09-13 23:37

    Großartig geschrieben

  • mara
    2018-09-06 20:31


  • Amit
    2018-09-02 02:45

    1. “Was . . . was there pain?” your mother asks. She clutches your favorite doll—so well-worn it’s going to pieces in her hands. She doesn’t want to let go because, when she’s knelt in the blood-spattered mud of the gardens, she will have to get up, she will have to go back, to move on, as though everything she does from now on does not stand in the shadow of your death.2. Beyond the gardens, the house waits—walls of golden stone, paneled doors with intricate carvings that seem to come alive at night and, in the cellar underneath, the circle, almost faded to nothing now, the growing hunger of the house’s magic, the price that must be paid, again and again, by those who cannot be allowed to live.Well, it's an ok & quick short story to read. Liked the unique tale, though this tale can be related with fantasy genre more than horror. But there's that hollow feelings that reminds you some story can be read without knowing what it really supposed to mean...Anyway Charlotte died and buried in the grave from where she still waited to take the vengeance against that Master! The Master who show less emotion ans remain expressionless. A figure that only mean to dominate. Though it's really kind of seem like an unfolded mystery about that vengeance. But well I enjoyed the read of course & it's my first read of the author. I would say so far so good...Hopefully going to read her soon in near future...

  • Katie J Schwartz
    2018-09-09 21:35

    And then the slow descent into the cellar—that tightness rising in her chest, as if the air she’s breathing was being taken away from her—and the circle, and the altar, and—and a last draught of poppy, an illusory comfort that will not hold when the darkness at the heart of the house rises and she strains against the shackles, trying to stifle the scream that’s tearing its way out of her . . .Spooky imagery that contributes to an overall awesome tone and mood, but I'd hesitate to call this a story. It's more like a vignette.Lullaby for a Lost World by Aliette de BodardThree Stars: Not bad, but not fantastic either. I'll still recommend it, if I think that person might like it more than me.

  • Ariel
    2018-08-27 18:30

    Okay, let me start by saying that this isn't a bad book. It's beautifully written; descriptive and imaginative. I was engaged from start to finish.And therein lies my problem. This book answered none of the questions I have about the characters or the world they are in. Clearly, there's some type of dark magic at play here, but literally nothing is explained.

  • Karen Elisabet
    2018-09-15 23:31

    "You do not rest. You cannot forgive. You are not safe—you never were."

  • Vanellope
    2018-09-13 01:43

    That was really creepy and super well-written! Really, all I wish is that it had been longer.

  • Stacey Kym
    2018-09-05 22:22

    'Lullaby for a Lost World' was a really intriguing short piece. I loved the little blurb which provided. I guess I was in for a little morbid and deathly something, because these genres usually never catch my eye. Plus it was YA! I really loved the style and technique of writing. So, so, so, so GOOD! It was full of emotive and scenic imagery that made reading it so worth it! And the whole thing was dramatic and rich in mystery, TO DIE FOR! I enjoyed how everything was cleverly revealed. And the structure it held. There was that consistent introduction, complication and resolution which made the short story actually UNDERSTANDABLE. I believe this is why I don't normally pick up shorts. Plus, it was a bit gory, but only slightly. So I guess it satisfied my blood-lust! The characters were also pretty awesome. I was really intrigued by this Master persona. Who was he? I would have loved to know more about him in an actual, full-length novel! Congratulations to Aliette de Bodard on publishing a lovely short piece!

  • Gregoire
    2018-09-15 01:39

    en libre lecture sur le site de Tor petite nouvelle, tendance horreur, dans une maison (? ville ?) où une jeune fille apparemment non parfaite, est régulièrement sacrifiée pour maintenir en vie (?) cette enclave de privilégiés Le problème avec cette nouvelle c'est qu'elle laisse trop de données dans le vague ce qui la rend peu crédible L'auteur se concentre sur les sentiments et le désir de révolte, de vengeance de Charlotte morte sacrifiée... Le seul bon point est la question que pose cette nouvelle : jusqu'où est- on capable d'aller pour maintenir son mode de vie ... un bon sujet de débat !!! se souvenir de l'expérience soi-disant scientifique où des quidams "punissaient" à coup de décharges électriques des individus cobayes (joués par des acteurs heureusement !!!) Ps : l'écriture (le style) est excellent dans sa singularité ...