In short: they all scare me.
I wrote the piece on spec with some urgency; it was one of those essays that got stuck in my head and had to be written before I could attend to anything else. I gratefully received some revision suggestions from friends and my editor, and am pleased with how it turned out.
It will be available to non-subscribers on the Century website for a couple of months, though of course as a contributor and member of the board, I heartily encourage you to subscribe!
As a general rule, I do not read dystopian fiction. Sometimes, however, my distaste for the genre is superseded by my pathological need to be a good book club member. I am loathe to skip a meeting, and I don’t like to attend without having read the book. This is how I came to read Station Eleven, the highly acclaimed 2014 National Book Award finalist by Emily St. John Mandel: under the duress of peer pressure. It’s a well-executed and engrossing book that I cannot stop wishing I hadn’t read.
I spent a recent Saturday with my nose in the book, if one can still use that phrase for reading a book on the Kindle app for iPad. I slept terribly that night, as I often do when my mind is enmeshed in something unpleasant. I dreamed myself into the disturbing near-future that Mandel imagines: a civilization extinguished by a massive influenza pandemic. Nearly everyone gone, and nearly everything gone, too.
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