After the Collapse
Paul Di Filippo
Frank Lazorg's gone mad! The dean of the fantasy art illustrators has reached his end: his creative powers have deserted him.
Then a strange new drug promises to reinvigorate him, both as man and artist. But the substance soon results in madness, plunging Frank into a world inhabited by monstrous parodies of humanity. Yet this new dimension has its own delights, as Frank soon discovers when he meets the female alien called Crutchsump!
A science fiction adventure of mind and body. AFTER THE COLLAPSE: STORIES FROM GREENHOUSE EARTH, by Paul Di Filippo. From the swarming redoubts of the polar regions, where humanity huddles from the savage heat of Greenhouse Earth, to the dusty refugee camps of a shattered America, here are six riveting tales of life during the hard-luck times of a post-holocaust planet.
right away? Maybe even at master status!” Vernice said, “Oh, sure, and how’re you gonna do that? I could see if Crispy here maybe said he had a way to bribe his Aunt Zoysia. She’s got real enchufe.” “Yeah, well, I know someone with real enchufe too. My brother.” Everyone fell silent. Then Anuta said quietly, “But Cheo, your brother is in prison.” As far as we all knew, this was true. Cheo’s big brother Adán had got five years for subverting FarmEarth. He had misused effectuators to cultivate
he knows anything about what we’re doing?” “No way. I just mean that he sees me playing FarmEarth eagerly all the time now, so he must have some idea I’m enjoying myself, and that pisses him off. He’s always been jealous of me.” At that moment, I felt a hand clamp onto my ankle in meatspace, and I was dragged out of bed with a thump! I vacated my John Deere and confronted Benno from my humiliating position on the floor. “What exactly is the matter with you, Ben? Do you have a short-circuit in
“She’s made a lot of new friends. They stay out all day, playing on the edge of the camp. Some kind of weird new game they invented.” “We could go check up on her, and I could say hello.” Nia squeezed my hand. “Maybe not right this minute.” * * * * I got to meet Izzy the day after Nia and I slept together. I suppose I could’ve hung around till Izzy came home for supper, but the intimacy with Nia, after such a desert of personal isolation, left me feeling a little disoriented and pressured.
only to slam on the brakes with alarming precipitousness. “You’re Mr. Hedges!” she informed me and the world. “Yes, I am. And you’re Izzy.” I was ready to shake her hand in a formal adult manner. But then she exclaimed, “You made my Mom all smiley!” and launched herself into my awkward embrace. Before I could really respond, she was gone, heading for the self-service cereal line. I looked at Nia, who was grinning. “And this,” I asked, “is her baseline?” “Precisely. When she’s really
Dropping the power supply by thirty percent won’t kill the cities.” “Oh, but we keeks think it will. You see, Reboot civilization is a wobbly three-legged stool, hammered together in a mad rush. We’re not in the Red Queen’s Race, but the Red Queen’s Triathalon. Power, food and social networks. Take out any one leg, and it all goes down. And we’re sawing at the other two legs as well. Look at that guy who vandalized your apartment. Behavior like that is on the rise. The urbmons are driving people