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.
its mad internal thoughts just as a mail cloud did: fractured images of the natural world, blazes of equations, shards of old human culture ante-Upflowering, elaborate mathematical constructions. A steady whisper of jagged sounds, a schizophrenic monologue, accompanied the display. Pertinax stared horrified. “Uploading this fragment of chaos to the tropospheric mind would engender destabilizing waves of disinformation across the skies. The humans don’t even need to explode their balloons. Simply
grudge against the mayor, had cracked the tags and affixed them to Manoogian Mansion, the official mayoral residence. Once the pajama-clad mayor and his half-naked shrieking family were removed from their perch on a teetering fragment of Manoogian Mansion roof, it took only twenty-four hours for both houses of Congress to forbid use of AI in FarmEarth. “Besides,” Mallory chimed in, “with nine billion people on the planet, human intelligence is the cheapest commodity.” “And,” said Anuta,
biological barricades, many of them with Batchelder Bioengineering pedigrees: hedges of thorny plants, troops of fire ants, pods of mini-shoggoths. On the Georgetown, Faithland, side, the barriers were strictly inanimate: robot lenses and gun muzzles, monomolecular wire, gluball anti-personnel mines. This natural-artificial interface was as clear a political statement of the differences between Agnostica and Faithland as any tract. Two New Austin inspectors came up to the stopped truck. The
weird noises out here in the country. Every time a branch creaks, I think someone’s climbing my steps.” I hugged her again, harder, in wordless thanks. We both went back to Lawes and arranged the new tent assignments. When I went to collect my few possessions, Ethan sneered at me. “Knew you’d run, Hedges. Without your badge, you’re nothing.” As I left, I wondered what I had been even with my badge. * * * * Living with Nia and Izzy, I naturally became more involved in the young girl’s
something from my pod.” Thales ducked into his tent. A.B. turned to Tigerishka. “What do you make—” Blinding light shattered A.B.’s vision for a millisecond in a painful nova, before his MEMS contacts could react protectively by going opaque. Tigerishka vented a stifled yelp of surprise and shock, showing she had gotten the same actinic eyekick. A.B. immediately thought of vib malfunction, some misdirected feed from a solar observatory, say. But then, as his lenses de-opaqued, he realized the