In the Shadow of the Towers: Speculative Fiction in a Post-9/11 World
Writer and editor Douglas Lain presents a thought-provoking anthology featuring a variety of award-winning and best-selling authors, from Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation) and Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) to Susan Palwick (Flying in Place) and James Morrow (Towing Jehovah). Touching on themes as wide-ranging as politics, morality, and even heartfelt nostalgia, today’s speculative fiction writers prove that the rubric of the fantastic offers an incomparable view into how we respond to tragedy.
Each contributor, in his or her own way, contemplates the same question:
How can we continue dreaming in the shadow of the towers?
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I turned the book over and found that, far from being a first edition, it had been printed in 1997. A new copy of Catcher in the Rye would have cost 5.95, but this was used and priced at two dollars. “No, that’s a first edition and I’d like to buy it.” “I don’t understand.” “What does a first edition of Catcher in the Rye list for? You have a blue book?” Slavi kept a current edition of the Rare Book Price Guide in a drawer by the register, and it listed a first edition of Catcher in the Rye
always knew what to say . . . from a wordless throaty murmur . . . to “Oh daddy” . . . to “Fuck God, stick that big thing in my ass!” He’d met her at the Zinc Bar, a private client function. Very intimate. They’d hired Tony Bennett to sing and circulate. She was a rented schmoozer and cleavage flasher. Bait for the sharks. Mostly Arabs and Japanese. An iridescent little sapphire evening dress and chase-me-catch-me heels fresh out of a 34th Street box. She was always fresh out of the box. And
muffin. He had to get home. Had to explain to his wife. No wonder she thought he was dead. The entire sky had fallen. What was going to happen next? He dragged on his clothes and tried to brush his hair. “I have to leave!” he hollered at Sophie. He couldn’t tell if she replied, “Figured that!” or not. The water was still running. Maybe she’d just wash away. Everything had gone topsy-turvy. She’d see for herself what was up. He could call later. His marriage was on the line. His wife . . . his
brought up the topic of the Church of Our Lady of the Monster Truck Rally. That a church based on a demolition derby would eventually hive off a Monster Truck-based faith seems a natural progression. But what no one realized is the amount of enmity the two groups would eventually develop for each other. The Demo guys saw the Monster Truckers as amateurs, who had lost track of the true spiritual journey of their formerly shared faith. There was definitely no love lost between the two. While in
that time me and Matilda grew closer. And the ghosts of Willow Run seemed to visit us. For me it began with a spooky feeling that everyone that had worked at Willow Run was ashamed of us and our complicity in destroying the vast facility. Maybe I just over-romanticized it. I was too old to ever really know what it was like to be a part of the system at GM. To have your life totally determined by the groans and tectonic shifts of a place like Willow Run or Toledo Transmission. That was all long