SFF, Short stories

Portobello Blind

doomsdayI have a new story out! It’s in the anthology Defying Doomsday from Twelfth Planet Press, which is edited by Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench. As you can probably guess, it’s a collection of apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic short fiction, but with a twist: in each story, the protagonist is disabled.

If you’ve ever paid much attention to this sub-genre, you’ll recall that disabled characters, when they exist, exist pretty much solely to die early on. An illustration of edge and cruelty, and all so very realistic (and that’s a loaded descriptor in genre fiction, one that’s continually applied only to some circumstances and not to others). But if you’re used to navigating a hostile world, to constantly being at a disadvantage, who’s to say you can’t use these skills to good effect when disaster hits?

Anna, the protagonist of my story “Portobello Blind”, is, as the title suggests, blind. She’s also 14 years old, and stuck alone at the fairly isolated Portobello Marine Laboratory, Dunedin, after her father leaves to find supplies and never comes back. Now the Portobello lab is a real place – I did some grad work on algae there – and while it has a nice big break room with food in the fridge that food can’t last forever, and Anna understands pretty quick that she has to find a way to feed herself if she wants to stay alive…

The worst part of the apocalypse was the sheer bloody boredom of it.

Anna had never expected to be the – apparently – sole survivor of a quick and dirty plague, but if she had, her expectations would have been different. All the apocalypse stories she knew had conflict and danger and high stakes, arenas and journeys and great symphonic soundtracks.

Anna spent hers fishing.

You can pick up a copy of Defying Doomsday at Amazon, or any other number of places.

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