This story marks the most serious the issue gets (as far as original fiction is concerned) and the whole issue is organized to earn this moment of solemnity and yearning. It’s a post-apocalyptic story and one of the few really science fiction stories of the issue, too, that looks at the way that people kill and the responsibility they hold to killing and yet the will to live. To survive. Not to fulfill any sort of human destiny or greatness. Not because the loss of humanity would be the worst thing in the world. But because of human curiosity and a desire to hope. Not for survival, but for something worth surviving. Something better than what came before. There’s a lot here about atonement and about accidents and about escape. The main characters live in relative comfort in this new world and sort of keep to themselves, but as they venture out, as they come face to face with their own continued footprint, they have to examine what good they’re doing and what good they can do and what they owe it to the world to do. There’s a bit of a tangled web to this story, of connections and wrongs and death, but it’s one that’s well handled. And there’s a weight here that goes well with the main character’s age, his tiredness, but also that lingering will to see what happens next. To participate. To try even if it might fall apart again, trying to learn from mistakes and plan accordingly. And it’s a touching, beautiful read. Check it out!
The story is set in the imagined, post-apocalyptic bedroom community of Darien, Connecticut where I used to live many years ago, so I must say to my friends who live or have lived there that:
This is a work of fiction! Names, characters, places are either the products of my imagination or used in a totally fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is unintended and coincidental.
This story was written with love and respect for what was and is, and, yes, fear of what might be. May coastal Connecticut stay lush and green, and may Long Island Sound forever stay where it has always been! ***Kiss, kiss***
And a big thank you to Charles Payseur for his thoughtful words and the time and energy that go into all his reviews. Check them out. Read mine, and reviews of some of the other stories in the issue, here: http://quicksipreviews.blogspot.ca/2016/07/quick-sips-fantasy-scroll-13.html