Several responses to Omelas

“one does not simply walk away from Omelas” (—Frumiosa, in a comment at The Toast)

There’ve been many many nonfiction articles about Omelas, but the pieces that I’m linking to here are all presented as fiction.

A House by the Sea,” by P. H. Lee
What happens to the Omelas child when they get older? “Would you believe me if I told you that they all live together in a house by the sea?” Published in Uncanny’s Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction issue, in 2018.
The Ones Who Take The Train To Omelas,” by John Holbo
Plus Omelas travel posters. (Holbo also provides a page of notes talking about the underpinnings of what he was trying to do here.)
The Ones Who Stay and Fight,” by N. K. Jemisin
Originally published in 2018, in How Long ’Til Black Future Month? (…Not to be confused with the Omelas response piece with nearly the same title that was written by W.S. in 2016.)
Multiple brief takes on Omelas, by Moriwen
No longer available in its original Tumblr location; link is to the Wayback Machine archived version.

6 Responses to “Several responses to Omelas”

  1. Ken Zimmerman

    A friend shared this on Facebook. Nice post. Thanks for these interesting links. You might enjoy this little fiction I wrote a few years ago called “The Ones Who Walk In”, an homage to LeGuin and her eternal story, Omelas. Cheers. Ken

  2. Alqua

    There is a song by Beth Kindermann that touchec on the story and argues about certain points. I heard it once played at a convention. I beliebe there is no recording yet though 🙁

    • Jed

      Thanks! I went looking for this, and found some further info:

      The song is “The Ones Who Walked Away,” by Beth Kinderman. It’s supposed to be on her next album, which (as you noted) isn’t out yet. Presumably when it comes out, it’ll be available with the rest of her music on Bandcamp.

      There is a recording of a live performance of the song during Kinderman’s concert at Harmonic CONvergence; that song starts around 40:00 in that video. The song is about 6 minutes long. The audio quality in that video isn’t great; I missed a bunch of the words to the song. But the chorus includes the lines “I will not cede this city to the ones who look the other way / by walking with the ones who walked away.”

  3. Jed

    Another one: Why Don’t We Just Kill the Kid in the Omelas Hole, by Isabel J. Kim (2024).

    Content warning for killing kids, also for other very bad things that are sometimes done to kids, also for other very bad things that are sometimes done to both kids and adults.

  4. Jed

    And another, a poem: My First and Last Proclamation as the Child Freed and Crowned Queen of Omelas, by Palimrya.

    Content warning for a bunch of bad stuff being done to someone.

  5. Jed

    Meta-update: I’ve moved this list to a separate page, and I’ll add any further updates to that page.


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