Cassandra (short story)

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Author C. J. Cherryh
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction, short story
Published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Publication type Periodical
Publisher Mercury Publications
Media type Print (magazine)
Publication date 1978
October 1978 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, where "Cassandra" was first published.

"Cassandra" is a science fiction short story written by American science fiction and fantasy author C. J. Cherryh. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in October 1978, and won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1979. It was only her second published short story, after "The Dark King" (1977).


C. J. Cherryh is best known for her science fiction and fantasy novels, and the bulk of her work comprises novels. Short story writing is an activity she generally only undertakes upon request or when an idea surfaces that does not lend itself to a novel. Receiving a Hugo Award for this story therefore came as a complete surprise to Cherryh.[1]

This short story is Cherryh's modern take on the Greek mythological figure Cassandra who had the gift of prophecy.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

The gift of prescience, rather than a blessing, is a curse for Cassandra that she cannot control. She sees the future all the time and cannot turn it off. She leaves her burning apartment each morning and heads for the bombed-out coffee shop, passing charred corpses on the way. She knows it's going to happen but can do nothing about it. When the bombs do come and fire engulfs the city, her foresight actually saves her, but at what cost? She is the sole beneficiary of her misfortune in an otherwise non-functional existence.

Publication history[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]


  • C. J. Cherryh. The Collected Short Fiction of C. J. Cherryh. DAW Books 2004. ISBN 0-7564-0217-4.
  1. ^ a b Cherryh, C. J. (2004). "Introduction". The Collected Short Fiction of C. J. Cherryh. DAW Books. p. x. ISBN 0-7564-0217-4. 
  2. ^ "1979 Hugo Awards". Locus. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  3. ^ "1979 Nebula Awards". Locus. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  4. ^ "1979 Locus Awards". Locus. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  5. ^ "1999 Locus All-Time Poll". Locus. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 

External links[edit]