"Prologue to The Silkie"
Short Fiction 1976 2,300 words


A young Haitian woman going about her daily routine encounters a strange shape-shifting creature who crawls out of the sea.

  • In the 1976 anthology The Best of A.E. van Vogt, a rather mysterious pieces appeared entitled "Prologue to the Silkie." This is an excerpt from the 1969 fix-up novel The Silkie, consisting (predictably enough) of the Prologue. It was the only section of the novel that had not previously appeared in short-story form, since it was written specifically for the novel. When making the novel ready for publication, van Vogt had felt that the beginning paragraphs of the first chapter might have been too "far-out" and demanding on his readers. He therefore created this extra material to more gently ease readers into the story, to hook them with something more familiar.

Part of the
Silkie Series
1 —     "Prologue to The Silkie" 1976
2 —     "The Silkie" 1964
3 —     "Silkies in Space" 1966
4 —     "Enemy of the Silkies" 1967

These stories formed the basis of the novel The Silkie (1969).

"Prologue to The Silkie" was originally linking material written for that fix-up novel, and was first published as a story in its own right in the 1976 American collection The Best of A.E. van Vogt.



full novel


novel excerpt
Included In
The Best of A.E. van Vogt    [American] 1976
The Silkie 1969