Submission Call — Anti-Apocalypse

ANTI-APOCALYPSE

Dark fiction is currently in vogue. With the popularity of The Walking Dead, post-apocalypse storytelling is especially widespread.
Being the contrary lot that we are, the editorial staff at PFM are rebelling against the apocalypse. We invite you to join us … and get published and paid to do so.
Show us a future that is bright, not bleak.

At first blush, this may sound like a theme that excludes fantasy and horror. Not so, we assure you. What would a bright future look like to ancient Rome, or to a tribe of goblins? Can a society’s utopia be a threat to others, or what nightmare might threaten the blessed civilization’s existence? This is what speculative fiction is all about. We know you can do it. Now prove us right!
Just remember that conflict is the soul of a thrilling story. Seek out the conflicts that can occur in an anti-apocalypse setting. Trust us, seek and ye shall find.


 

Today, I step into a new arena.  And I do not enter it alone.

Molly N. Moss–my good friend and fellow slusher–and I are co-editing a special issue of Plasma Frequency.  We’ll be accepting submissions from today until January 15th, 2015.  We’re looking for anti-apocalyptic tales–stories of bright futures, as the excerpt above (taken from our submission guidelines, found here) explains.

It’s an exciting time for the both of us.  We’re eager to read the stories that come our way, to fish out the truly delightful ones that fit our vision for this special issue, and finally to present them to the world.  I’ve been writing short fiction for four years now, and I’ve been reading submissions for different magazines (Niteblade, Plasma Frequency, Bastion) for two years.  I’m extremely grateful to our editor-in-chief, Richard Flores IV, for entrusting his wonderful magazine to us.

So please, if you’re a writer, check out our guidelines.  If you’ve got anything that you think fits the bill, send it our way!  And if you don’t, maybe consider writing something new.  I was initially somewhat daunted by the idea of anti-apocalyptic stories; if you know me, you know I love my fiction bleak and dark and depressing.  But I think something really good can come of stories that focus on brighter things, more hopeful futures.  And as weird as it sounds, I’m still hoping to find some ‘optimistically gritty’ stories.  And I may or may not also be hoping for at least one good robot/AI/cyborg tale that fits with our theme.

But enough of my chatter.  Check out the guidelines, share with your writing friends–get writing and send something our way!

~Alexis

 

Plasma Frequency Author Interview: Issue 14 — Sylvia Anna Hivén

Issue 14 Cover Preview

Last week, I started what I hope will be a long-running thing on my blog — interviews with Plasma Frequency authors.  I’ll be interviewing one or two of Plasma Frequency‘s authors from every issue.  Questions will generally revolve pretty closely around the stories we publish, but may deviate to allow us to get to know these talented authors better!  For PFM’s 14th Issue, I selected two authors to interview.  Last week, we chatted with Damien Krsteski about his story “City of One.”

This week, I’ve got Sylvia Anna Hivén here to talk about her story from Issue 14 — “At Twenty-Two Hundred Hours.”

Sylvia Anna Hivén
Sylvia Anna Hivén

Sylvia Anna Hivén lives and writes in Atlanta, Georgia. Her fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, EscapePod and others.

Just a heads-up–if you haven’t yet read “At Twenty-Two Hundred Hours,” I definitely recommend reading it before proceeding as there are some spoilers ahead.  It is free to read, just click the link in the story title. This was another of my favorite stories in Issue 14.  It’s a story with a lot of heart–something that’s hugely important to me as a reader.  Many thanks Sylvia for taking the time to answer my questions.  Now, full steam ahead!


Alexis A. Hunter (AAH): When I first read this story, one line instantly hooked me. “Girl in the moon, come on down.” What inspired this particular line? What inspired you to write “At Twenty-Two Hundred Hours”? Tell me about how this story began to take shape.

Sylvia Anna Hivén (SAH): What inspired the line “Girl in the Moon, come on down” is a rhyme in my native language Swedish. It doesn’t rhyme in English, granted, but it’s special to me and an homage to the language I grew up speaking. What inspired the story overall is Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. I’m crazy about all things space, and time travel theories in particular. I wanted to find a way to use time travel in the most tragic way possible, and the twist in this story seemed the most heart-breaking scenario I could come up with.

AAH: Tinder’s name stood out to me from the get-go. Do you feel her name has any significance or meaning, or was it merely a pretty name that caught your eye like it caught mine?

(SAH): I suppose the name Tinder is a reference to how she made Cory feel. He was in a dark, dreary world, and Tinder lit a spark of hope that he could get away from it.

AAH: The use of a 3D printer plays a fairly large role in this story. I like how it isn’t an easy answer for their separation—how it works for her to send him things, but not vice versa. What drove you to add that sort of technology to their worlds and their relationship? Do you think it strengthens their relationship?

(SAH): 3D printing seems to be something that’s going to be integrated into our lives in the very near future, and it made sense to me that it would be a casual part of everyday life on Cory’s and Tinder’s worlds. I liked the idea that even if they couldn’t touch, they could share intimate things with the printer. Also, I try to be very efficient in letting a reader know what the setting is, and a 3D printer mentioned in the first few paragraphs will hopefully help orient the reader to what sort of place my characters are in.

AAH: I loved the Star Trek reference: “I’m a botanist, not a space station commander.” Are you a Trekkie? Are there other references or hat-tips in this story that I missed? How much influence, if any, do shows like Star Trek have on your work in general?

(SAH):  Yes, I am definitely a Star Trek fan. I would probably not even write science fiction unless someone had dragged me to a Star Trek movie when I was sixteen. I think it’s impossible to be a science fiction writer and not find at least some inspiration from Trek ideas and concepts. So much of Star Trek’s science concepts has almost become standard cornerstones of most fiction, and nobody is going to bat an eye if you have a food replicator or a transporter in your story.

AAH: Throughout the story, there is a great deal of contrast between the life and greenery on Tinder’s planet and the cold confines of Cory’s world. Does that hold special significance in this story? What, if anything, does that contrast mean for you or for the story?

(SAH):  The contrast in Tinder’s and Cory’s worlds is there to really twist the knife in Cory’s heart further at the end of the story. She isn’t just a girl he cares about, but she’s his ticket out of a miserable place. When he realizes what happened to Tinder’s planet, he didn’t just lose Tinder but also the promise of a better life.

AAH:  The connection between Cory and his sister, Artie, is especially well rendered. Just the right amount of affection and attitude. Do you have any siblings? Do you find any of your family working their way into your stories—whether in a larger representative role or in bits and pieces?

(SAH):  I have five siblings, and while my relationship with them are all strong in different ways, I can’t say Artie is a representative of anybody I grew up with. I tried to make their relationship sympathetic and supportive just to show how tough space-station life was for Cory–if he was willing to sacrifice his relationship with his sister, his life situation has to be pretty bad. I didn’t want it to be too easy for him to leave.

AAH:  This story has such a powerful last line. I wonder what Cory decides to tell her. Did you have anything in mind or is that a question left for you as well as for the reader?

(SAH):  The first story draft concluded with Cory’s and Tinder’s last conversation, and that ending did show Cory’s decision. However, I found the story would linger better with a reader if they were left to wonder what the right thing to do would be. For me, it’s more fun to leave the reader thinking about the conflict of the story, than tying up an ending with a neat bow as if I have all the answers to what would be right.

AAH:  Do you feel “At Twenty-Two Hundred Hours” has any particular themes, messages, or meanings? If so, did you set out to write a story with those themes/messages/meanings?

(SAH):  I think the story is about how time and space doesn’t really change basic human needs of love and connection. It’s also about the perceived idyll of times gone by–like looking at old photos of people that you’ll never meet, in places that are gone forever.

AAH:  What upcoming stories or projects are you excited about at the moment? Where can our readers find more of your work?

(SAH): I have a short story called “The Sixth Day” coming out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies in 2015, and I’m extremely exited about that. My current work in progress is a Christian science fiction novella about how God would reach out and connect to alien civilizations.


And that’s the end of our November/December interviews.  This segment of my blog should resume in January with Issue 15 of Plasma Frequency. 

Be sure to check out the current whole issue if you get a chance.  If you enjoy the stories, maybe consider throwing a buck or two our way–either through Patreon or Kickstarter–as we are determined to one day pay our authors the rates they deserve.
Thanks for stopping by!
Alexis

 

 

Plasma Frequency Author Interview: Issue 14 — Damien Krsteski

Issue 14 Cover Preview

Today, I’m excited to be starting what I hope will be a tradition for at least the next few months–that is, I’m going to be interviewing one or two of Plasma Frequency‘s authors from every issue.  Questions will generally revolve pretty closely around the stories we publish, but may deviate to allow us to get to know these talented authors better!  So for PFM’s 14th Issue, I’ve selected two authors to interview.  Today, we’ve got Damien Krsteski on deck with some excellent insights about his story “City of One.”

Just a heads-up–if you haven’t yet read “City of One,” I definitely recommend reading it before proceeding to read this interview as there are some spoilers ahead.  It is free to read, just click the link in the story title. This was one of my favorite stories in Issue 14It’s an extremely smart piece with great descriptive power and heart.  I hope you all get a chance to check his story out and that you enjoy this interview.  Huge thanks to Damien for taking the time to answer my questions.  Now, on to the fun part!


 

Alexis A. Hunter (AAH): What inspired you to write “City of One”? Tell me about how this story began to take shape.
Damien Krsteski (DK): Above all else, the concept of absolute intellectual self-sufficiency, and whether such a thing could be pulled off. I came up with the theme before any of the characters or plot, and the details began to appear as I explored the idea further. For one, I knew I had to set it in a universe where minds could be manipulated like software, where there are no material obstacles to realizing the concept. I also needed a main character through which I could demonstrate the debilitating effects of long-term isolation.
AAH: The transmission of thoughts/feelings/memories was something I found particularly interesting this story. What prompted you to add this type of communication to the story? What effects do you think this ability would have in our real world?
DK: The story is set many years into the future, and it makes sense that other forms of communications will be developed by then. Sharing subjective experiences at instantaneous rates seems a particularly enticing method, as a major improvement from the current, low-bandwidth verbal/hormonal/gestural modes of communication.
The effects of such a technology would probably be very positive: eliminating misunderstandings and speeding up communication among people.
AAH: Bertrand expresses a fondness for the color orange, calling it “a strong color” and saying it soothes him. Do you feel the same way about this color?
DK: Bertrand associates it with a sun setting, an era ending, so perhaps it’s soothing to him because he’s looking forward to the morning after. To me orange is just another color.
AAH: When questioned about whether or not he enjoys the ‘delicious power’ of Superuser privileges, Bertrand says he’s gotten used to it. I felt this said something interesting about his character, that he would act so nonchalantly or unimpressed by such power. Was this a trait you planned for Bertrand to have or something that sort of evolved naturally? Why do you think he isn’t power hungry, as many other people in his situation might have been?
DK: Bertrand’s character was my principal way to communicate the story’s thesis—the degeneration of one’s mind if one’s left unexposed to novelty, to fresh ideas—so I’d worked out his personality, quirks, and state-of-mind at the early stages of the story’s development.
It does say something very interesting about him, but also about the premise, which states that without external stimuli, everything would become dull after a while.
As to why he is the way he is, well, his very nature is getting to him in the form of the memetic plague, he finds little meaning in things, he has shifted from a life of pleasure to an ascetic existence, he’s alone, asocial, listless.
Perhaps at some point in his past he’d reveled in the deliciousness of those powers, back when he hadn’t been crippled by staleness.
AAH: In my own stories, I tend to includes bits and pieces of my past, my self, people I know, and so on. Do you find you do that with any of your fiction? Is there anything in this piece in particular which is definitely you (which you don’t mind identifying)?
DK: In a way, each character in the story shares something in common with me, much like they do with the titular One who has created them in the first place.
AAH: As we progress in the story, some themes and interesting words begin to enter the picture more clearly. “Solipsism” is one I had to look up. Did the word or theory play a role in the birth and creation of this story?
DK: Absolutely. “City of One” emerged from my thinking about how long a person can remain isolated within their own neural confines, without suffering from intellectual decay in one way or another. The story serves as an exploration of metaphysical solipsism, among other things.
AAH: I got a sense, at the end, that Mathilde was still with Bertrand in some way. Or maybe like he’d found the parts in himself that were similar to the parts in her. Was this intentional or did I read too much into it?
DK: You’re right, Mathilde is still a part of Bertrand even after her death, and always will be, despite the “Injection.” But whether her presence is a sign of a contented mind, or the mark of a guilty conscience—because she may have been right after all, perhaps the citizens merely traded their freedom for happiness with the Bureaucrats—I guess it’s up to the reader to decide.

 

AAH: What upcoming stories or projects are you excited about at the moment? Where can our readers find more of your work?

DK: I have several new stories scheduled for publication in the next few months. I post news about my work on my blog, and on twitter (@monochromewish).

And there you have it, folks. Stay tuned next week for my second and final interview for Issue 14.  We’ll get to chat with the talented Sylvia Anna Hivén about her story–“At Twenty-Two Hundred Hours”–also free to read at PFM.  Be sure to check out the whole issue if you get a chance.  If you enjoy the stories, maybe consider throwing a buck or two our way–either through Patreon or Kickstarter–as we are determined to one day pay our authors the rates they deserve.
Thanks for stopping by!
Alexis

 

QuarterReads

Yesterday, a pretty neat new site launched for writers and readers.  It’s called QuarterReads.  The premise is simple: authors upload their works and readers pay 25 cents to read whatever story piques their interest.  Authors get a majority of that 25 cents, and there’s also a tip jar for each story, with 100% of those tips going to the author.

I’ve gotta say, when I first learned about the site, I was pretty intrigued.   I checked it out and uploaded three of my stories–all stories that have been published before but that are no longer available to read anywhere.  It’s been an interesting experiment so far and I really hope the website takes off.

If you’re interested in reading my QuarterReads, I have three posted:

I’ve got a few more stories in mind to possibly upload, but for now that’s what I’ve got.  Be sure to also check out work from a few of my talented friends: Gary Emmette Chandler, Stewart C. Baker and Stuart Turnbull.

“That’s Blood” Published in Every Day Fiction.

That’s blood. Family. I don’t have to look in a mirror to see the connection. He’s got my eyes — olive green with an inner ring of brown radiating out from the pupil. I guess it’d be more accurate to say I’ve got his eyes. The realization makes me recoil.

 

Every week I usually meet up with a local writer and we write together.  Little flash pieces, based on random prompts we assign each other.  We have lunch and chat and read our resulting stories aloud to each other.  It’s so much fun and a great connection to make.  The stories I write during these meetings aren’t always very good–but sometimes they’ve got something in them that shines, something in them that I like and find worth pursuing.

“That’s Blood” is one of those stories.  It’s a dark little flash piece–not a speculative element to be found, but it maintains my usual affinity for dark and painful tales.  I really like this story because it felt rather tight to me, compressed, and while I’m sure it still has its flaws (don’t they all), I’m rather fond of the tale.

I said all that to say that “That’s Blood” was published today over at Every Day Fiction.  It’s already received some great comments.  I love reading people’s thoughts and reactions to my work so this is one of my biggest motivations for sending stories to EDF.  If you get a chance–really, it only takes a minute or two to read–please stop on over at the site and give the story a read.  Comment and share if you can.  I’ll love you forever if you do!  ^_^

Now I’ll leave you with the link.  Go forth and read, all you awesome people.

~Alexis

 

 

Three Things I Write & Three Thing I Don’t

A few eons ago, my wonderful friend–a very talented writer/editor–Rhonda Parrish tagged me in a bloghop going around dealing with, you guessed it, three things I write and three things I don’t write.  It sounded like a lot of fun, I’ve just had a very busy summer and am only just now getting around to participating.

On a random note: I normally try to put some images in my blog posts to break up the text monotony.  Since I recently bought a really cool camera, these images will be a smattering of random photos I’ve taken over the past week or so.  As such, they probably won’t be at all related to the content matter of this post.  But who cares, right? Sit back and enjoy the hop!


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Three Things I Write

I write Speculative Fiction

Science Fiction, Fantasy, the occasional Horror piece.  These are the genres I return to time and again.  While I dabble in ‘literary’ or ‘mainstream’ genres, I just love speculative fiction with my whole heart and soul.  There’s something thrilling about pushing the limits of your imagination and trying to imagine what no one else has yet imagined.  And yes, they say there’s nothing new under the sun.  But how many people have thought about cellos that have baby cellos inside them?  Someone, somewhere probably–but it’s finding those strange little ideas that I love.

I write Robots.

Yes.  Robots.  They demand their own section, despite falling under the header of ‘speculative fiction’.  Why?  Because robots are just so dang awesome.  Artificial Intelligence, robots, cyborgs, you name it and I love it.  I’ve written numerous robot stories, especially ones that deal with romantic attachments between humanity and machines.  Two of my favorites were published last year at Scigentasy and Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi.  There’s something intensely fascinating about robots, about Artificial Intelligence and possibilities of sentience.

For me, the attraction of robots is twofold.  First, there’s the aesthetics of it.  Gleaming metal and sleek forms, the astounding power of a machine, the versatility of arm attachments, the immortality of an identity which can be easily backed up or sent to multiple locations.  There are of course the rust-bucket robots which are charming in their own right.  Games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution really fed my love of flesh-and-metal-amalgamations.  Shows like Battlestar Galactica (the reboot of course) only further amped up my fascination.  And reading stories like “The Shrike” by Zachary Woodard or “How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps” by A. Merc Rustad provides me further incentive to return to robots in my stories time and again, reaching for deeper meanings and themes and exploration of emotion and philosophy and society.

I write Poetic Prose (Sometimes).

This final “I write” is somewhat of an evolution for me.  When I first set out to write short stories in earnest four years ago, I was very much a minimalist.  In some ways I still am–I’m not overly fond of obsessing over my character’s appearance and dress and body, or detailing to the most minute level the way the tile is laid out on the floor.  But my writing itself used to be quite sparse and functional.  This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile–this evolution of preferred style that I’ve undergone.

I think I first fell in love with beautiful, sweeping prose when I read E. Catherine Tobler’s “Half a Woman, Half a Shadow” in Insatiable Magazine.  The story and the lush prose were utterly captivating.  I was swept off my feet.  After that, I still continued to write much as i always had.  Eventually I took up a job slushreading for Niteblade (where I got to know Rhonda much better) and more poetic stories spilled beneath my eyes and soaked into my mind.  As time continued and I stumbled into such excellent magazines as Electric Velocipede (Rest in Peace, sweet magazine!) and Shimmer, my writing style slowly evolved.  I still sometimes write rather sparsely, but I love playing around with lush writing styles.


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Three Things I Don’t Write

I don’t write Rape.

Might seem like a weird one to start with, but I’m really touchy about how rape is used in fiction.  The whole ‘rape as backstory’ is something I don’t ever want to do. And in the event that I someday write a story that involves rape (in the character’s past or present), I will be very, very nervous and very careful about how I do so.  In fact, I recently had a really gross, weird idea for a horror/crime/erotica novella and had almost started plotting it when I realized it had a character who not only had been raped, but was going to rape other people.  Why am I telling you that?  Because sometimes we just get bad ideas or ideas with implications and effects we may not have considered at first.  So yeah.  No rape.

I don’t write Racist/Sexist Characters.

As far as I know, I’ve never written a purposefully racist/sexist character.  I say ‘purposefully’ because some racism and sexism is ingrained and nearly invisible until someone points it out to you.  I’ve seen stories where characters were real assholes–and those can be fun–and then I’ve seen stories where those assholes are misogynists or racist or homophobic or transphobic, and I can’t stand them.  Especially in Science Fiction.  The future I imagine is bright and full of people accepting other people for who and what they are.  And yeah, I do sometimes write futures that aren’t so bright–I write post-apocalypse and other gritty, painful genres.  But I don’t feel the need to call these sorts of negative attitudes and viewpoints to attention, especially in a main character.

That being said, I can think of a few stories I’ve written where secondary characters or antagonists give my characters some grief over their sexuality–but not often, and when I do so, I try to make it clear that they’re in the wrong.  That being said, I’m not perfect.  I’m afraid there may be some of these things in my stories that I just can’t see yet.

I don’t write Sex (Yet?).

My characters usually don’t have very much sex–poor folks!  It just doesn’t usually come up.  They are sexual beings, sure, and I’ve written romance with the kisses and heat and all that fun, feverish stuff.  But I don’t really write sex scenes.  I definitely don’t write erotica.  I did try to this year during Story-a-Day May, but the results were less than sexy.  I won’t write sex scenes off completely, I’m just not really interested in writing them.  To me, the act itself can usually be skimmed over, the sort of fade-to-black or closed-door stuff that I see in a lot of stories works just fine for me!

(I do want to note that I know these subjects (all of my “don’ts” really) can be handled correctly in fiction–I’ve seen it done before.  In Who Fears Death — possibly one of my very favorite novels — Nnedi Okorafor deals with racist/sexist characters, rape, and consensual sex scenes and does so extremely well.  I guess I just don’t trust myself yet to write such stories well.)


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So, there you have it, folks!  My do’s and don’t’s of writing.  And I’d like to tag Jared W. Cooper, Gary Emmette Chandler, and Paul Magnan to play the Three Things I Write game as well!

Thanks for reading!

~Alexis

Apocalyptic Vs. Post-Apocalyptic

Hello and welcome to Stop Seven on the A is for Apocalypse blog train!  Hopefully most of you have been following the blog train from the beginning, but if not, make sure to stop by the most recent stop over at Sara Cleto’s blog.  Without further ado, let’s jump into my end-of-the-world ramblings…

 

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I love stories of the apocalypse.  I love movies and TV shows and novels set in the ‘end of days’ — no matter how that end comes about.  As a fan of all things dark and bleak, it probably makes sense for me to be drawn to these sorts of tales.  However, as I began to contemplate what I would write for my entry in the blog train, I began to think more and more about ‘apocalyptic vs. post-apocalyptic’.

These two categories are so often thrown together that we sometimes use the first term, when we mean the second.

The apocalypse is the end.  The end of humanity, society, the world, what have you.  And now that I think about it, I haven’t read a lot of stories that I could say were truly apocalyptic, at least not in the truest sense of the word.

I never thought about it before, but we don’t tend to write stories about everything ending.  That’s it.  The end.  Kthxbai.  Right?  We lean toward post-apocalyptic–the not quite end of the world.  The end of society, but not of humanity.   When I think about my favorite apocalyptic tales, they all revolve around the remnants of humanity and how they hang on, how they persevere.  In Cormac MacCarthy’s The Road, one of my all-time favorites, we watch a man and his son struggle to get by, to live just another day or another hour or another minute.  It’s one of the bleakest stories I’ve ever read, and probably comes closest to being truly apocalyptic.  Whether or not they survive in the end is–to a certain degree–left to the reader’s imagination.

So what draws us to to Post-Apocalyptic rather than Apocalyptic (I realize I’m making the assumption that other people are as drawn to the former as I am)?  I think stories of the final end of humanity aren’t as appealing because they tend to feel pointless.  Abysmal, bleak, desperately dark–all of the things I love in Post-A, and yet somehow it gains that pointlessness.  Am I wrong?  I honestly can’t think of very many truly apocalyptic tales.  If you guys know of any–book, tv, movie, etc–please let me know!

As for Post-A, maybe we’re drawn to the idea of society being reborn.  I personally love these stories.  The strengths and weaknesses of characters cast more violent shadows in bleak worlds, in the end of days.  Your weakness will get you killed; are you strong enough to survive?  What do you leave by the wayside in order to get by?  What happens to your morality when doing ‘the right thing’ will get you or your loved ones killed?  There are so many fascinating scenarios and questions in the post-apocalypse…

…Which is why I’ll now stop rambling and direct you toward A is for Apocalypse.  There are 26 tales in this story.  26 different apocalypses.  Get your grit on and dive in.  Revel in the desperation — or hope — of the end (or not quite end).  Here’s a bit more about the anthology and some links.  Don’t forget to stop by Alexandra Seidel’s site tomorrow for the next stop in the blog train!


“In A is for Apocalypse, the world ends in both fire and ice–and by asteroid, flood, virus, symphony, immortality, the hands of our vampire overlords, and crowdfunding. A stellar group of authors explores over two dozen of the bangs and whispers that might someday take us all out. Often bleak, sometimes hopeful, always thoughtful, if A is for Apocalypse is as prescient as it is entertaining, we’re in for quite a ride.” – Amanda C. Davis, author of The Lair of the Twelve Princesses


Excerpt of “Y is for…”

I am struck by the silence.

No fans, no humming processors, no dilating lenses.

My people are slumped where they stand. Crumpled metal heaps on the pavement like…like crushed soda cans, abandoned on the street.

I call out. “Is anyone there?” My voice is a symphony of plaintive, metallic cords; my words echo back to me, unanswered.

 

Available on Amazon, Createspace (coupon code TY6D2CWD for 10% off),

and Smashwords.(coupon code PJ67Q for 10% off).


Now I’ll leave you with a bit of lovely music from Apocalyptica – because what could be more apt?