The Cambist and Lord Iron

The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics is a 2007 novelette by Daniel Abraham. It was originally published in the anthology Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories, and subsequently republished in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection (2008), in Fantasy: The Best of the Year (2008), in The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Two (2008), and in Lightspeed (2013); as well, an audio version was made available via PodCastle in 2009.



Olaf Neddelsohn is a cambist who leads a quiet life until he comes to the attention of Lord Iron, a brutal and decadent aristocrat who sets him impossible challenges.


Cambist was nominated for the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and the 2008 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.

Black Gate called it "amazing" and "a fable of economics", and the SF Site described it as "splendid" and "delightful", while Strange Horizons considered it "brilliantly intellectual", but stated that it "could be straight historical fiction for all the use it makes of its vaguely fantastic setting." Steven Levitt noted that, despite agreeing with Olaf's response to Lord Iron's first challenge, he was unable to apply standard economic reasoning to the second and third challenges.


  1. ^ 2008 Hugo Awards, at; retrieved April 28, 2016
  2. ^ 2008 World Fantasy Award Winners & Nominees Archived 2010-12-01 at the Wayback Machine, at; retrieved 28 April, 2016
  3. ^ Is Fantasy Inherently Not Political?, by Derek Kunsken, at Black Gate; published January 11, 2014; retrieved April 28, 2016
  4. ^ The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: Twenty-First Annual Collection, book review by Mario Guslandi, at the SF Site; published 2009; retrieved April 28, 2016
  5. ^ Year's Bests edited by Jonathan Strahan, and David Hartwell & Kathryn Cramer Archived 2016-08-06 at the Wayback Machine, book review by Karen Burnham; at Strange Horizons; published 22 August 2008; retrieved April 28, 2016
  6. ^ Economic Fairy Tales, by Steven Levitt, at the Freakonomics blog; published December 15, 2008; retrieved April 28, 2016

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