SFF, Short stories

The Women Who Didn’t Win Nobels

I have a new story out! Actually, it’s a novelette, which is nice. It’s got a fairly long title to go with it’s lengthy self as well: the full title is “The Women Who Didn’t Win Nobels, And How World Trees Are Not A Substitute.” It’s in the latest issue of Fusion Fragment, and I love them for taking this gargantuan mash-up of a story, I really do. The story is science history and climate fiction and mythology and compromise layered over and over each other, so you see “fusion” is really the best word for it.

“The Women Who Didn’t Win Nobels” focuses on three women who, indeed, did not win Nobel prizes for their work in science: Lise Meitner, Rosalind Franklin, and Chien-Shiung Wu. All of them arguably should have won in their respective fields, but the main storyline here is them spending their afterlives at the World Tree, being interviewed by another woman, another scientist, who is considerably less talented than they are and who has a decision to make. She is looking for advice, essentially, or perhaps she is looking for confirmation. Science comes with compromise, and the decision on where to make that compromise, and the decision on if it should be made at all, is a fundamental one… especially in a world which in which climate change may increase the potential for conflicts. And these three women who, in alternate realities would have received more credit for their work, were all touched in some ways by war and/or conflict, and they have ideas about how such should be navigated.

It’s a story that I’m particularly attached to, so I’m glad it’s finally out there in the world!

1 thought on “The Women Who Didn’t Win Nobels”

  1. I’ll definitely have to read this story. The novel I’m working on, which starts with the radio interview between Lise Meitner and Eleanor Roosevelt on the very same day that the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki (which I first found out about in The August Birds!) takes place in a world in which Lise Meitner shares the Nobel Prize for Peace with Eleanor (AND wins the Nobel Prize for Physics!), Chien-Shiung Wu does indeed win the Nobel Prize she so rightly deserved (and inspires my main character to make her own startling scientific discovery), Rosalind Franklin does not get ovarian cancer and does win the Nobel Prize (I was tempted to replace Watson with her, but decided that was going too far) and Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins the Nobel prize as she should have done for her discovery of pulsars. So, yes, I’m really looking forward to reading your story very much!
    (Btw, also looking forward to reading The Impossible Resurrection of Grief – its on my reading list!)

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