The New Decameron

by wjw on April 10, 2020

Fleet-elements_02The original Decameron,  written by Giovanni Boccaccio in the 14th Century, was a collection of 100 tales, each of which was supposedly narrated by one of ten young men and women hiding from the plague in a villa near Florence.

So what are we doing now, in our contemporary self-exile, but sitting around and telling each other stories?

Maya Chaabra had the idea of making a new Decameron for COVID-19, and she and Jo Walton set out to do exactly that, by asking for contributions from their writer friends, while Jo wrote the frame story that stitched them all together.  Today they published their twenty-sixth story, “Occurrence at Rahul’s Canteen,” an excerpt from Fleet Elements, my next Praxis book.

Hey, you can read it for free!  Though since the stories are on Patreon, you have the option of becoming a patron of the project, and kicking some change toward the creators.

 In addition to my story, there are stories from Jane Yolen, Mary Robinette Kowal, Usman T. Malik, Candace Jane Dorsey, Taos Toolbox’s very own Effie Seiberg, and a great many others.

Check in every day for something new.

Prithu Paul April 11, 2020 at 4:42 am

It was such a joy to read an excerpt from next segment of your wonderful series. News of Fleet Elements coming in December is music to my ears. I expect there may be delays for the print editions based on how the pandemic evolves, but I hope we can get the ebook on schedule.

There are very few space operas that have the perfect mix of plausibility, epic space battles, politics, family dynamics, and protagonists worth rooting for. If there was ever a series worthy of the being “Space Opera” it is Dread Empire’s Fall. I don’t imagine you will possibly have the time to entertain this request, but it would be glorious if you could write up a list of recommended space opera novels for fans of Dread Empire’s Fall.

Thank you. My best wishes for your good health and speedy recovery.

wjw April 11, 2020 at 3:38 pm

Thank you for the kind words!

My reading in space opera is not comprehensive, but I’m happy to recommend Lois Bujold’s series if you haven’t already read it.

Etaoin Shrdlu April 12, 2020 at 7:12 am

Paul J. McAuley’s “Jackaroo” series has some interesting ideas, but is unfortunately rather short — two main novels and not even a dozen short stories.

A third Niven/Pournelle/Barnes “Heorot” novel has apparently just been released. Jerry having died a few years ago, it will be the last, I assume. I don’t know how much input he had into this one.

Clyde April 12, 2020 at 11:31 pm


According to a recent Baen Free Radio Hour podcast (with Niven and Barnes), Jerry Pournelle did considerable work on the final novel in the Heorot series before he passed.

Scroll down to the March 27 podcast.

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