Austin Bunn, "The Ledge"

A cargo ship looking for a new trading route to India encounters an mysterious ledge at the end of the world.

(from One Story #68)

Slowly, as the world reaches focus through a looking glass, the mist thinned and revealed itself as a great spume of ocean. One league away, the curve of the horizon straightened to a line, to a drop. Like the edge of an enormous table. Clouds bent over this line and disappeared.
This is a spooky period sailing story, painted with authentic-sounding 15th Century terminology and imaginative descriptions. Like a Decemberists song (a specific one — you know which), it’s engrossing. And a quick read. Lately, thanks to an article on the BBC site I’ve been thinking about real life flat Earth societies, so this story came along at just the right time.
This story is from 2006, back before I let my subscription to
One Story lapse. I’m not sure why, I guess a couple stories disappointed me, but mostly I just wasn’t reading them when they came in and they kind of piled up. Now I think I’m going to resubscribe. Here‘s the One Story interview with Austin Bunn. And, look, One Story has a blog now. I’ve been out of the loop.

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