Saturday, February 18, 2017
Considering the current state of affairs in the world (and particularly in the White House), I'm guessing that no one is particularly alarmed that I haven't been posting updates about my stories that are currently accessible online. But, what the hell – sometimes the only things we can fix are the things we're able to do ourselves. I have a strong suspicion that within the next year we're going to see another American president get impeached (unless he resigns first or is taken out by some (semi-)obscure constitutional procedure). Because of the power struggle between the two major parties (and also within those parties), things are probably not going to get better until they get a lot worse. This is one of those times in history when truth is stranger than fiction and fiction is a reflection of that larger reality.
That's the best segue I can wrestle out of this collection of ideas, so I'll cut to the chase. The first story is titled “The Cat at the End ofthe World”, and it was published in Cicada Magazine. It addresses a theme that was popular even before someone started taking the nuclear football along with him to Mar-a-Lago: an apocalypse caused by arrogance and stupidity. But along with the second story I'm going to tell you about, it also explores the idea of rescue. What and who is worth saving?
The second story is “Now is the Hour”, published in Clarkesworld Magazine. It explores a much bigger picture, multiple worlds instead of just Earth, and apocalypses both personal and planetary. I dreamed both a happy and a sad ending for this story, and when I woke I realized with one ending it wouldn't be tolerable and with the other it wouldn't be believable. But what if there was a way for the characters to experience both endings?
People have been fascinated with the idea of apocalypse since we first started imagining cosmology. Many of us experience it on a personal level at least once in our lives (not including the day we die). In my case, I happen to live within 30 miles of Luke Air Force Base – Air Defense North America. Any ICBM from China or Russia would take me out within the first twenty minutes of an exchange. That doesn't scare me. It pisses me off.
But anger is only useful if you can do something constructive with it. So I'm painting my house and getting rid of stuff I don't need. I go to work every day at a job I like. I'm writing new short stories. I just finished writing a novel based on my novella, “The Servant.” Now I'm working on the sequel, Olympians. I'm gardening, and working on my health, and taking care of my family. Those are things I can do.
Washington is going to have to sort out its own mess. The sooner, the better.