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Dave often daydreamed about abducting the President of the United States of America and subjecting him to extensive anal probes. It wasn't a politically motivated fantasy. Dave just thought it would be funny. He never thought he would get the chance. However, he was wrong.
Matthew Brady was transported at the age of twenty-two for murder.He considered it a black piece of humour that he had been convicted for the death of one man since, at the age of sixteen, he had been part of the Shibtri Isles Army. For nearly six years, he had fought in campaigns across dry, burnt soil that lay beneath empty red skies. When not fighting on the land he had been born, he traveled, and fought on soggy, sodden, yellowed half grown fields beneath the same sun; or in the long tunnels of the Queen's Empire, where the only light was provided by phosphorescent stones and moss. In these campaigns, the dark, maroon uniform of Brady's native country remained the same no matter his antagonistic of defensive roll, though he questioned neither. The military was the only employment that he had ever known. He had joined, not through of a sense of patriotism or duty, but rather because the dangerous and violent nature of the work offered was attractive. He wasn't like his brother, Alex—Alexander—who had the natural gift of intelligence and interest in study and who was offered a morticians apprenticeship at the age of thirteen—the offering of which had allowed him to leave the orphanage and underfunded public school system that they were both stuck in. No, for Brady, life existed in the physical, the tangible, and the pleasures that were offered through these experiences, and so when the recruiters stood in their maroon uniforms in the middle of the broken cement quadrangle of the school he attended and told him that he could have a life with money, food, and travel in addition, he did not hesitate to sign up. That he was to be part of campaigns that resulted in the deaths of men and women with whom he had no personal connection with did not bother him. Likewise, he was similarly unconcerned by the destruction that was caused to towns and cities and countries that he visited. Why should he have been? The question of why he was there had been made before the army was sent into battle, and he never saw a reason to question them—until, that is, the day he killed William Morris.Killing Morris was different to any death that Brady had been responsible for. When his knife slipped out of the other man's stomach, when the blood flowed over Brady's hand, when the strength seeped out of Morris' body with it, when his breath against Brady's neck stuttered and stopped...When he was dead.When he was dead, in short, Brady felt a pleasure that he had never felt before.Which, of course, was the problem. When his lawyer arrived, the neat, non-tattooed (clean skinned was the slang) young man took it upon himself to explain to Brady that he could not kill the people he wanted to kill. He did not use those words, of course: the lawyer had the sentiments couched in long, twisting sentences, relating to morals, social standards, and other curiously frail arguments that, in the end, argued that it was fine—indeed, encouraged—for Brady to want to kill the men and women who were the enemies of the Shibtri Isles. That those enemies changed as the political climates did was not up for debate. They were the enemy. They were a danger to the prosperity and freedom of the country. You could not argue that their deaths did not serve a purpose. William Morris, on the other hand, was a citizen of the Shibtri Isles, and in additional, a valued member of the military. He had a wife and daughter, both of who were innocent, and both of who had to live with the tragic results of Brady's actions.William Morris, it was explained to him carefully, slowly, as if he were a child, did not deserve to die.
Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon — these are our guides through the Wastelands…From the Book of Revelation to The Road Warrior; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving eschatological tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. In doing so, these visionary authors have addressed one of the most challenging and enduring themes of imaginative fiction: the nature of life in the aftermath of total societal collapse.Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of speculative fiction — including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King — Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon. Whether the end of the world comes through nuclear war, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm, these are tales of survivors, in some cases struggling to rebuild the society that was, in others, merely surviving, scrounging for food in depopulated ruins and defending themselves against monsters, mutants, and marauders.Complete with introductions and an indispensable appendix of recommendations for further reading, Wastelands delves into this bleak landscape, uncovering the raw human emotion and heart-pounding thrills at the genre’s core.