After the Collapse
Paul Di Filippo
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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.
and the threat from rogue lobe infection. Maybe the mind will know what to do.” Pertinax considered this proposal. “That’s a sound idea, Chell. But I suspect our pigeons have already served as appetizers.” He paused as an idea struck him. “But I know a way to reach the mind. First I need to be free. You three will have to chew my ropes off.” Shielded by darkness, without any guards to note their activities and interfere (how helpless the humans must have deemed them!), his three fellows quickly
isn’t she? We should make it to the Sandwich Islands in just five days.” “So fast?” Rotifero motioned for Storm to look over the side at the ship’s unique construction. “The humans called this model the hydroptére. Multi-hulled, very fast. But here’s the real secret.” Rotifero walked to the fore of the ship and kicked at a bundle of neatly sorted fabric and lines. “She’s a kiteship. Once we get this scoop aloft, the weather mind provides an unceasing wind. We should average fifty knots. Old
enough to have their brain states interpreted on the wing. But the wardens, overconfident about the parameters of their mission, had set out without any such intermediaries. Pankey’s voice conveyed less than total confidence. “Old Tropo is watching us. Surely he’ll bring us to a halt safely.” Larger and larger Hawaii bulked. Details along the gentle sloping shore became more and more resolvable. “Is that some kind of wall?” “I—I’m not sure…” As predicted and hoped, when the Squid had reached
conjecture. (He had tried vibbing into Gershon’s eyes, but had encountered a pirate privacy wall. Hard to build team camaraderie with that barrier in place, but A.B. had chosen not to call out the man on the matter just yet.) No doubt Gershon was hanging out on keek fora. The keeks loved to indulge in endless talk. Originally calling themselves the “punctuated equilibriumists,” the cult had swiftly shortened their awkward name to the “punk eeks,” and then to the “keeks.” The keeks believed
a man with a gun. I yelled, “Police! Drop it!”, then crouched and dashed toward the gunman. The figure stepped forward, still holding the weapon, and I fired. The boy was twelve, his weapon a water pistol. His mother trailed him by a few feet—not far enough to escape getting splattered with her son’s blood. Later I learned neither of them spoke a word of English. One minute I was cradling the boy, and the next I was lying on a cot in a field hospital. Three days had gotten lost somewhere.