The Demon Vivienne Explains Volitional Geography

by Arkady Martine

It has been about to snow in Hades 
for every century I remember.
What sky there is, low and damply chilled,
hides informers from each other,
clings to every concrete edifice —
but I was told a story once
that when the mortal empire Rome
bore down across one-third the human world
this grey city was vicious with imperial sunlight.
Perhaps it only snows when we're not here to see.
This after all is Hell.


Arkady Martine is a speculative fiction writer and, as Dr. AnnaLinden Weller, a Byzantine historian. In both roles she writes about border politics, rhetorical propaganda, and liminal spaces. She was a student at Viable Paradise XVII. Arkady grew up in New York City and currently lives in Uppsala, Sweden. Find her online at or on Twitter as @ArkadyMartine.

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