Tag: Dystopia

A Beginner’s Guide to Staying in Touch After the Apocalypse by Sidney Dritz

Robert Frost wrote, “some say the world will end by fire / some say in ice,” but if he had hung around for a few more years, he might have felt moved to add a stanza or two about the possibilities of superbugs, nuclear annihilation, a robot uprising at Y2K, a racist misreading of the Mayan calendar, and the unlikely but ever-popular zombie apocalypse. Genre conventions dictate that the discerning survivor might hold out for a back-to-the-land-style complete collapse of technological infrastructure, but it’s not just disaster-sophisticates who are always just a few catastrophic weather events away from a formalized nomadic existence enforced by the need to flee hurricanes, heat waves, extreme blizzards, and flooding. But no matter which flavor of destruction is your drug of choice, I think we can all agree on one thing: in the event of a survivable cataclysm, communication is important.

Luckily for you, I’m-Afraid-To-Watch-The-News Weekly has you covered with five practical and stylish ideas for keeping track of your nearest and dearest when the end is even nearer than they are.

Breath From Strangers by Thomas Elson

His hands trembled as he reached for a shopping cart. He had avoided life for the past five weeks. Now, wherever he looked there were threats. He saw it in the way people veered to the left or the right. He saw it in their eyes.

Past sliding doors into an open area designed to protect customers from winter blasts and summer bursts. He walked around stacks of bottled water, boxes of mac and cheese, and sugared cereal, then to a second set of doors. Clerks who had once smiled now resembled bank robbers – their faces covered and eyes swerving. One employee pointed to a sign.

The Wastelander by Martin Webb

A single teardrop draws a bright line down the old man’s dust-smeared cheek. Its slow passage further marks a face weathered by time and toil. This dystopia, this burning Earth, has claimed his kin. It seems that now, finally, it is his turn to die.

Baker coughs, his raw throat screaming for relief. He’s on his knees, this once proud man, and the tear he sheds is not born of the pain or the humiliation that he’s being subjected to. It is for his friends, the two young travellers who not so long ago accompanied him, the two who were killed instantly by the band of raiders who’d ambushed them.