Vonda N. McIntyre’s “The Mountains of Sunset, The Mountains of Dawn”

Vonda N. McIntyre’s “The Mountains of Sunset, The Mountains of Dawn” is a wonderfully beautiful tale about love across the generations among a space faring winged and taloned species. Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1974, it’s about a young male (called grandchild) who falls in love with a much older female (called grandmother). The “grandchild” wants to mate with the “grandmother” in order to effect his metamorphosis into an adult. Grandmother is a subversive influence on the grandchild, because she breaks from the decision of the others to remain in space. Also, she allows grandchild to continue his infatuation with her.

I like this story, because of the descriptive language that the author uses to describe flying and hunting prey. I felt myself carried over the air currents as these flying beings freely explored the space that we can only do so through the mediation of technology. It’s a story worth reading, and the generational themes and Freudian issues should be further explored. It can be found in The Norton Book of Science Fiction.