Sci fi/fantasy anthology book stumper
January 4, 2013 8:47 PM   Subscribe

My first name that book question. It will be a stumper. All I remember is that it was a sci fi or fantasy anthology, I read it in the 1990s (so it might have been older, but not newer), and in one story a woman walked behind the village/city town, between two mountains/hills to a Lake of Tears and cried there for some sort of loss. This is a ridiculously small amount of information, I know, but it haunts me.
posted by Vaike to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
This is probably the longest of long shots, but in one (or more) of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels, there is one particular lake in a remote location that is made of some kind of gas, something related to a type of magic found on Darkover. And I think a woman visits the lake while in a state of terrible grief.

There were also many volumes of fan-written stories in that universe - most of which I've not read - but one or more of those might be about this place, too.
posted by Glinn at 9:13 PM on January 4, 2013

Could it have been "The Mountains of Mourning" by Lois McMaster Bujold? It doesn't fit all your details, but there is a woman crying and a lake, and it was published in 1989 as part of an anthology of Bujold's stories.
posted by MFZ at 9:26 PM on January 4, 2013

No, not the Mountains of Mourning. That's a Miles Vorkosigan story where he goes off to find an infant murderer in his father's rural estate.

I too thought it might be a Marion Zimmer Bradley.. perhaps from the Avalon series rather than Darkover?

Otoh, it reminds me of a short story I read where there was a woman who absorbed her family's pain (as a healing) and then had to later release it. Now that'll keep me up wondering.
posted by infini at 10:19 PM on January 4, 2013

Your question made me think of Delany's The Ballad of Beta-2 which has a recurring reference to a poem that includes:

She walked through the gates and the children cried,
She walked through the Market and the voices died,
She walked past the court house and the judge so still,
She walked to the bottom of Death's Head hill.

But it's a long shot.
posted by zadcat at 10:47 PM on January 4, 2013

Could it be an Ursula K. Le Guin?
posted by infini at 11:44 PM on January 4, 2013

I was thinking le Guin as well, but can't think of the short story. Maybe it's in the New Eves anthology? That collected about a hundred years of SF/F written by women, and that sounds like the kind of story that would have been included in it.
posted by spunweb at 6:28 AM on January 5, 2013

The LeGuin story that you might be thinking of is probably The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas. But I can't remember a lake in that one specifically.
posted by DSime at 10:05 AM on January 5, 2013

I vaguely recall a scene of a woman (possibly a Queen?) weeping at a cursed lake in Meredith Ann Pierce's book The Dark Angel. Perhaps a segment of the book was anthologised?
posted by DSime at 10:09 AM on January 5, 2013

Long shot — Singer from the Sea by Sheri S. Tepper?
posted by Lexica at 10:35 AM on January 5, 2013

Thanks everyone. I do have a feeling it was sci fi rather than fantasy, and that the story took place at a non-earth location. I also remember trying to think of an all female author anthology of sci fi that I couldn't quite remember. It would make sense that this story existed in that anthology, so Darkover and New Eves are both in the running.

Of course I won't know until I actually read the books, but I will get started and if it's in there, I will let you know. Even though I mourn the memory capacity of my youth, I do see that the benefits of an older memory include getting to rediscover things. It's a nice assignment to have.
posted by Vaike at 12:54 PM on January 5, 2013

This sounds like a scene from Hans Christian Andersen's Story of a Mother, or perhaps someone inspired by it and similar fairytales.
posted by nicebookrack at 10:30 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

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