Christmas Inn


  • First publication
    • Christmas Inn (2005), a chapbook which was sent free to all subscribers of Postscripts magazine with their Winter 2005/06 issue
  • Wolfe collection(s)
  • Other publication(s)
    • Nebula Awards Showcase 2014, edited by Kij Johnson, Pyr (Prometheus Books), 2014 May 13

Wolfe's comments from an interview with C.S.E. Cooney

Pete Crowther in England (with P S Publishing) wanted to put in Christmas Inn, so he called the British edition The Very Best of Gene Wolfe, rather than the American edition, which is The Best of Gene Wolfe.

What happened with Christmas Inn was that Pete had promised his Post Scripts subscribers that he would send them a Christmas story gratis in the mail.

As Christmas drew near, the author who’d originally agreed to write this ten thousand word story was at thirty thousand words. He was still banging ahead, writing more, and would not be finished in time. So Pete asked if I could quickly write a ten thousand word story for him.

In my short story, The Tree Is My Hat, the ex-wife who shows up on the tropical island is named Mary Christmas. I never say that – you find out by deduction – but I asked myself, what’s her family like? Who is her father, Julius Christmas, and what’s going on back at home?

Well, back at home, they check in four time-travelers to the Christmas Inn. Two men, two women. The story goes on from there.


Four adults and one child show up at the otherwise vacant Christmas Inn in a mysterious black SUV.


The tie-in with The Tree Is My Hat means that this story is in the same universe as An Evil Guest and Memorare. It is a confirmation that time-travel technology is available in that universe.

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