If you’d asked me in 2019 my favorite genres to write in, dystopian would’ve been at the top—if not the very tip of—that list.
Enter 2020 where the wide, wide world of social media memes have taken over:
“You’ve been 2020’d.”
“Toilet paper apocalypse.”
“Roll the dice and finish the dumb game.” (Jumanji)
Scowling cats reclining in skillets on gas stoves begging every Linda, Karen, and Frank to “light it up already.”
And that’s just virus-related stuff.
I’ll not touch on memes that featured protests, politics, handy-dandy face masks, or burning cities.
One of those cities we were to fly into for our 25th wedding anniversary prior to a cruise. Bahahaha. And I’d been worried if our marriage—25 years strong, mind you, love my man—could weather a tiny cabin on those couple of “at sea” days with no Netflix and the hubs up to his eyebrows with rich buffet food. Let alone if we got “quarantined” at sea should one rogue passenger spike a fever or sneeze.
I’ll let your imaginations take that image where it wants to go.
At any rate, living through the first few months of 2020 felt like a terrifying stroll down Dystopian Drive or Horror Hallow or Thriller Court. Though I doubt those that lost lives and/or livelihoods would categorize this year’s entertainment selection as “thrilling.”
At any rate, now that we’ve passed the midpoint—
Midpoint? Just past the midpoint in typical story form is where most of the action picks up.
And then, just a chunk of pages further, it really picks up.
Like. All. The. Way. Up.
And then there’s the climax at the end.
Which is a good five-and-a-half months from now. *Hang on while I have another stress-sigh-eye-roll-and-grab-another-Reese-Cup moment.
Dabbed the eye leakage while I was at it, too.
Unlike tidy fiction tales, I doubt that any would agree our world’s issues will be wrapped up in a neat, shiny bow on December 31st before the ball drops (will there be a ball drop?) and 2021 welcomes us all with a tall glass of (insert your most favorite comfort beverage here), fresh-baked cookies (choose your own flavor complete with the aroma filling the house), a giant hug from wrinkled, grandmotherly arms, and a “There, there. Tell me all about it, it’ll be okay” sit-down at an antique table covered in lace doilies.
So, dystopian isn’t something I’ve touched since this thing ramped up in March. I feel like I’m living in such an existence. But I did write a dystopian tale back in the fall of 2019 for the Vegas Workshop when I actively enjoyed such things.
Set in future Earth way, way after we humans royally screwed it all up—the planet, the infrastructure, and each other. It was fun to write with just a tiny bit of hope sprinkled here and there. Hope that someone would get a clue and change their thinking.
A fellow author liked it. She asked me if she could put it in an anthology of other such Future-Earth Techy-stories.
A book of short sci-fi stories aptly named “Future Earth Tech”.
I was honored. I met some of these author folks last year, and I’m stoked to see my little “B.A. Paul” in a list with their names!
My paperback version came. Hot off the press. Hot out of the mailbox in our current 99-degree heat index (seriously, Indiana is about to boil itself out of existence). So hot, actually, that Mr. Malachi Maxwell gravitated toward it and before I could even gander a peek at the contents, he splayed his hairy body on top of the book and soaked up all its fresh-from-the-sauna warmth. (And for those new to the blog, Malachi is a cat. Nothing too funky going on here…)
The book is available through a gob of online outlets, so take your preferred source for reading material:
Now, I know what you must be thinking. With such a gloomy lead-in, leaving us all longing for our grannies and warm cookies and hugs, would anyone really enjoy such stories now?
This is fiction, dear hearts. With time travel, space punk, mind uploads, and various and sundry human augmentations.
We don’t have those things yet—at least not much of it. I, for one, have misplaced my magic wand which allows me to time travel, and I’m really bummed about it.
Enjoy the book.
Then leave a review. Support these author folks who provide much-needed distractions from our current “tell it to your grandkids, uphill all the way” real-life dystopia.