The Half-Life of Angels

Disasters spawn angels upon the earth.

The angel of New Orleans bears wings of rain and howling wind. The angels of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bear wings like flash–burned silhouettes. The angel of San Francisco bears wings of smoke. The angels of London stand together, wing brushing wing, fire, plague, the concussion of bombs. The Valdivia angel, the Wenchuan angel spread their wings of shuddering rock. Angels with wings of floodwater stride across continents, the mud of rivers, the salt of tsunamis.

They are not angels of god, and no one knows how long their memory will last.


Sarah Monette

Sarah Monette and Katherine Addison are the same person.

She has published more than fifty short stories, seven solo novels, and four collaborations with her friend Elizabeth Bear. Her most recent novel is The Witness for the Dead (Tor Books, 2021). The Goblin Emperor (Tor, 2014) won the 2015 Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel and was a finalist for the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Award. The Angel of the Crows (Tor, 2020) was also a finalist for the Locus Award.

She is adjunct faculty for Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program.

You can find her on Patreon as pennyvixen.

She lives, with spouse, cats, and books, somewhere near Madison, Wisconsin.

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