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This and many other Frank Wu images are available on T-shirts, etc. at Cafepress.

This illo was for the story by K. Bird Lincoln, published in issue no. 2 of Darkling Plain magazine.

The story is about a woman archaeologist on a farflung planet.  She discovers there are alien hieroglyphics on the ruined walls of an ancient city on that world.  She deciphers them, only to find that they died of a horrible disease and wrote their stories on the walls before they died.  Then she discovers that she too has caught the disease and writes her own story on the ancient walls before she too succumbs.

A detail of the hieroglyphics, which are inspired by a combination of Mandarin, Korean, Sanskrit and Tamil:

Imbedded in the hieroglyphics are the Chinese character for "Wu" and an "FW" symbol.


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Images (c) 2001 Frank Wu

I sold a framed print of this at WesterCon 54, and the buyer wrote that he was "donating it to an Alzheimer's charity."  I had never seen the story as a metaphor for that horrible disease, but it makes a lot of sense.

At the Astronomicon '02 science fiction convention in Rochester, NY, this piece won a ribbon in the best Professional Sci-Fi" category.