Ancient of Days (1992)

Contribution by Charles Stross to the shared world anthology The Weerde that takes place in a setting where an old race of shapechangers lives covertly side by side with humanity. The story (online) deals with a pet peeve of Stross: change and how people, or in this case the shapechangers, deal with it. Basically the shapechangers can get very old, but the oldest among them, who look out for threats to the survival of their kind, have become unreliable, as they haven’t been able to adapt to the accelerated social and technological changes. The approaches to problem-solving of the ancients shapechangers have become a problem themselves and the younger shaperchangers initiate a purge.

That’s where the story stops. Nicely written, but I expect it is a more satisfying experience if read together with all the other stories in the anthology, as in this form we only get a single small glimpse into the world of the Weerde.