Years ago - the 1980s - I read a short story in which a universe is made of rock or stone, within which are voids, some inhabited by intelligent races. I've always thought it was in The Monadic Universe by George Zebrowski, but I now have a copy of that book, and it isn't one of the stories. Any ideas?

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    Incidentally, the universe of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser stories is at one point shown to be like this. Feb 28 at 8:25
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    From the title I was hoping for a universe made of rock the music.
    – Stef
    Feb 28 at 15:54
  • @Klaus Æ. Mogensen - According to Wikipedia, "Theorists in Nehwon believe that their world may be shaped like a bubble, floating in the waters of eternity." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fafhrd_and_the_Gray_Mouser Feb 28 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


Could it be Me and My Antronoscope (1973) by Barrington Bayley in his collection The Knights of the Limits (1980) ?

From the text:

It had been recognised for a long time that the universe was stratified. In any transverse direction the rock remained, as far as was known, unchanged to infinity. Downwards, one entered a Region of Intense Heat, while if one attempted to travel Upwards one encountered a Region of Impassibility. Above this region, which could be entered only by the souls of the righteous after death, God was acknowledged to dwell. Conversely the profound Region of Heat was a place of torment reserved for the souls of the wicked. Both regions were held to be infinite in themselves, but to Erled, or indeed to anyone else in the room, the very idea of travel either Up or Down for more than a few hundred miles was virtually a metaphysical notion. These transcendental directions were literally beyond possible human experience. Only horizontal directions had any practical meaning, and it was these that one normally meant by infinity.

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    Can you explain why you think this might be the right answer?
    – Valorum
    Feb 27 at 20:57
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    @Valorum - I recognise the story title. I remember enough of the story to be sure this answer is correct, and I have Googled the title + author and recognised an image of the cover of the paperback edition I had. Dosco, many thanks! Feb 27 at 21:11
  • The question reminded me of a story I once read which I'm reasonably sure wasn't this one either. The word "Voids" being a key part of the description for me. Feb 28 at 8:33

It turns out the year doesn't match (and it's not a short story but a series), but in case someone else comes here looking:

A universe of rock with voids in them sounds like the Death Gate cycle (1990 - 1994) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The series takes place on several connected worlds, one of which is a world of solid rock where people live in cave systems.

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