My story “Snow Angels” is now out in Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and featuring stories by (among others) Claude Lalumiere, A.C. Wise, and Michael Matheson. The full Table of Contents is here; I looked for reviews, but haven’t found any yet.
“Snow Angels” may be the first story I wrote after I moved East. I had imagined the apocalypse as seen from British Columbia many times, perhaps most notably in stories like “Wild Things,” and as I accommodated to being here in Toronto I made a real effort to imagine something less Pacific Raincoast, more urban. As a result, this story may have more car per column inch than anything I’ve ever written.
I also wanted to play with the image of Canada and Canadians as quiet, low-key, even boring, while also steering clear of some of the standard end of the world hits–zombie infestation, atomic war, global warming. So the apocalypse in “Snow Angels” creeps in like an unrelenting fall of snow: cold, stealthy. A few flakes at first. Then, eventually it’s a silent, windless blizzard, a creeping not-quite-death that covers the world, a chilly colorless smothering blanket.
Here’s the beginning:
Lindy was elbow-deep in window glass when the tech started giving her hell about her Winkles.
“You haven’t been dusting.” He ran a rag over their faces. They were on a stretcher beside Lindy’s varnishing table: a boy, a girl, a something. Not kin, from their looks: the girl had Southeast Asian features and the boy was a mixed-race cherub with honey curls. “This one’s got cobwebs. You gotta take better care.”
“Who’s taking care of me?” Lindy had been fusing scavenged windshield shards, filtering out the surviving smartcrystals and printing a self-charging pane which drew power from the weak northern sun beyond her window.
“Red here’s got an elevated heart rate.” The tech meant the devil child, the one in the cheap Halloween costume.
Editor Silvia Moreno Garcia has posted at her blog about the cover and release date for Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse. My “Snow Angels” will be in it, and the TOC promises stories by Michael Matheson, Claude Lalumière and Christine Ottoni.
The book will be out in August and I recommend it heartily to anyone who’d like to see Canada take one, or twenty, on the chin.
I am still working on answering Blaise’s question: are editors still needed? And I’m pondering your other questions, excited about answering them, and grateful to know what interests you. If you haven’t weighed in yet and there’s something you want to know, tell me! I’m happily building up the list of requests.
In the meantime, a few current snippets of news from the land of Dua Moving Insanity:
–We got the keys to the new place this week, and floors are going in. The shower may be leaky, so we’re going to look into fixing it ASAP. Since it’s the one truly gnarly-looking thing in the place, this is going to turn out to be a blessing. I am packing boxes and have just about reached the point where I’m going to be hiding away things we will actually want but not need between now and next week.
–Okay, there’s one other gnarly looking thing, but it’s so outrageous and improbable that I’ll tell you about it another time.
–The new place is also grubby. I keep reminding myself that when we moved into Woodland Drive in 2001, the apartment was omg, seriously, so filthy! This isn’t bad. Another improvement on our 2001 experience is that the previous owners at Dua Central didn’t fail to move out a whole bunch of wall art, furniture and a seventy billion pound exercise bike. We’re really ahead this time! Nevertheless, Kelly and I plan to spend Good Friday scrubbing. If you’re in Toronto and want to drop by to see us cleanifying an empty apartment, shoot me a text. And just so you know, I do mean see us cleanifying. You will not be allowed to help.
–“The Color of Paradox” and “Snow Angels” have hit the next stage of pre-publication, which means editors Ellen Datlow and Silvia Moreno-Garcia, respectively, have sent me notes on them, small questions about things that may need fixing. I’ve been so delighted to have a chance to write a few stories this year, and it’s nice to see these moving through the process.
–Although we will not do anything about acquiring new offspring before we are in Dua Central, Kelly and I have jumped a few pre-adoption hoops at a no-kill cat shelter here in the city. It turns out that being able to perform basic tasks like brushing my hair, cooking, walking across the room, lying in bed unconscious and drinking water from a glass–not to mention packing all my worldly goods!–without constant feline supervision is simply depressing. I cannot handle the autonomy.
–We went to the monthly ChiSeries reading featuring Sam Bieko, Keith Hollihan, and Jerome Stueart, with comical SF-themed songs by Kari Maaren and Peter Chiykowski. It was a terrific night. The readings were great, the musicians hilarious and we saw many friends. I’ll be one of the readers in July–I’ll let you know more as the date approaches.
I am pleased to say that Silvia Moreno-Garcia has purchased my novelette “Snow Angels” for her antho FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN POST-APOCALYPSE. The full ToC is at the link: it will have stories by Claude LaLumiere, Jean-Louis Trudel, and twenty-some other Canadian writers.
Silvia will be here in March, at the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, along with Christopher Golden and the ever-awesome Peter Watts.