SFF, Short stories


I’ve got a new story out! “In(con)solation” is free to read over at Lightspeed. It’s barely more than a flash piece, but it’s also the first story I’ve managed to sell to them – not for want of trying! – so I’m pretty pleased about that.

The title, I’m sorry to say, is something of a pun. I was interested in the effect that sunlight (insolation) has on mental health, and what happens if you’re deprived of it. There’s all sorts of high latitude examples where people don’t see sunlight for seasons at a time, but because this is science fiction they’re all living underground in the aftermath of nuclear apocalypse. The downside to that – one of many, I’m sure – is that one of the possible consequences of exposure to high levels of radiation is cataracts… so what happens when staying in the dark makes you depressed, and the consolation of sunlight makes you blind?

It’s not a cheerful story, as you can imagine, but when I was writing it I found the layered imagery interesting, and it’s always a challenge to write a story that short.