One of my absolute favorite science fiction short stories is Bordered in Black by Larry Niven. For some foreboding reason that story really resonated with me. Here’s what Niven had to say about it in a little forward to the story:
“Bordered in Black” is a nightmare vision.
If a vision were enough, it would have been sold at once. I wrote it as a vignette. Ed Ferman’s comment (months before my first story sale) was that it looked like an outline for a story. So I set it aside, and tackled it again a few years later. The version that appeared in F&SF was much changed.
If I wrote it today it would be changed again. A story needs more than the original idea…but the nightmare still shows through.
You can read the entire short story here.
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