“What Doctor Gottlieb Saw” takes place roughly 18 months before the events in Chapter 1 of Bitter Seeds. (So it takes place maybe 17 years after the prologue, which you can read for free here.) I wrote it entirely as a standalone, so it doesn’t require any foreknowledge of Bitter Seeds.
For people who have read the book, the story might shed a little more light on the relationship between a certain flying man, and a certain perfectly innocent girl who likes to pick flowers and who just happens, maybe, to see the future.
(More thoughts on the story, below the cut.)
The central incident that drives this story forward has been in my mind for a long time, as a central piece of Reichsbehörde mythology. It’s referred to, very quickly and in passing, near the end of Bitter Seeds.
There are so many stories I’d like to write in the Milkweed universe– so many bits and pieces of the world that I’d love to explore in short form. What happened that night at the Bodleian? Who discovered Enochian?
The story I’m really dying to write is a companion piece to “Dr. Gottlieb”, which takes place between Bitter Seeds and The Coldest War. But I’ll refrain from saying more about that, as a courtesy to folks who haven’t read the book.
(If you are interested in more backstory from the Milkweed universe, remember that our Chronicle of Sorrows contest is still in effect! Check the blog archives for several postings about this.)
Anyway, you can read “What Doctor Gottlieb Saw” here. There is also an audio recording of the story, read by the author, which should be up at Tor.com in coming days.
Update: I’m told by a reliable source that Tor.com accidentally published the story a few days early. So folks are scrambling to get an author-bio-squib up, along with some information about the relationship between “Doctor Gottlieb” and Bitter Seeds. But really, for real, it is part of the same universe. And they do intend to advertise this fact… I hope.
Update 2: The audio version of Doctor Gottlieb is now available, as a link on the left of the main story.