Paolo Bacigalupi, "The People of Sand and Slag"

Three futuristic super soldiers find a dog.

(from Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse)

Down in the valley, the bio-job’s headlong run slowed to a trot. It seemed unaware of us. Closer now, we could make out its shape: A shaggy quadruped with a tail. Dreadlocked hair dangled from its shanks like ornaments, tagged with tailings mud clods. It was stained around its legs from the acids of the catchment ponds, as though it had forded streams of urine.

Crazy sicko story. In this future, human being are so advanced (thanks to “science,” as they keep awkwardly pointing out) that they can regenerate lost limbs, perform amazingly dexterous feats and eat anything. The world, meanwhile, seems to have gone to shit, a harsh, dark, violent place where even the beaches of Hawaii, where our three protagonists go to swim, has barbed wire in the sand and petroleum in the water. Messed up.
What Happened:
Science happened. There are these techweevils inside everybody that turn them into near-gods. But also, biological creatures are pretty much either in zoos or extinct (this lone dog being a surprising exception), thanks to, I guess, pollution and the plundering of the natural world.

Destruct-O-Meter Score: 4
. I mean, this is a messed up world, wholly unappealing, but it doesn’t necessarily scream apocalypse to me. This is more like some twisted possibility that humanity/civilization might evolve into.
Read it here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>