As we make it through one of the worst years in recent history, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of my stories that involve futuristic disasters and post-apocalyptic scenarios.
One of the first stories I ever wrote concerns a “perfect storm” of disasters — earthquakes plus nuclear warfare plus tsunamis plus the slow-pocalypse of climate change plus a very Covid19-like pandemic — “Hurry Up and Wait” originally in Perihelion Science Fiction in 2013 has been reprinted several times, most recently in Into the Ruins.
Another story, in Lightspeed’s Women Destroy SF anthology, doesn’t identify the type of disaster that occurs but it’s clearly human-caused. “Standard Deviant” was most recently reprinted in Frozen Wavelets.
Climate change is the obvious catastrophe awaiting us all. I’ve written many stories, both cautionary tales and hopeful ones, which you can find in this link. “Wicked Problem” is the latest of these and was recently released in Utopia SF magazine.
When aliens come into the arena, they may become our evil overlords as per “Connecting through the Cosmos” (originally in SF Comet in English and Chinese, and reprinted in The Insignia Series’ Asian Science Fiction anthology Vol 5 among other places). Of course, aliens don’t need to be the instigators of a dystopic future — humans do that well enough on their own. “Across the Hard-Packed Sand” and “Look, Don’t Touch” (in the Aurora-winning Second Contacts anthology) examine current-day issues like racism and homelessness with the assumption that they perpetuate even when aliens have been among us for some time.
I dissect a failed grassroots protest in “Technicality”, and how evil overlords can take electronic form in “Hat and Stick”.
Apocalypses can occur on exoplanets as well. “Bound, Determined”, in the Brave New Girls #4 anthology involves terraforming-gone-wrong and how that might lead to a two-class system.
These dystopic stories are a departure for me. Generally, I try to write upbeat stories and inject at least a tidbit of hope into each one. These days, yes, that’s been harder, but I strongly believe human nature is transformable, and our species can, as generations go forward, become our best selves.