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2014 Story 112

From The End is Nigh, edited by John Joseph Adams

The End is Nigh is an anthology of “pre-apocalyptic” fiction, for lack of a better term. The stories presented all take place just before an apocalyptic event, and the authors continue exploring their worlds during and post apocalypse in the upcoming anthologies The End Is Now and The End Has Come.

112. DANCING WITH DEATH IN THE LAND OF NOD by Will McIntosh

A virus goes pandemic, paralyzing people in their own bodies. A small town man and his college-age neighbor cope with keeping their neighbors alive despite the growing obviousness that no help is coming from the government. The man’s Alzheimer-burdened father, who owns a dying drive-in movie theater, adds another concern for the main characters. Out of what I’ve read of the anthology so far, this is easily the most heart-breaking story; McIntosh’s main character is a broken man living out someone else’s dream, and the girl is idealistic to a fault. Watching their worlds collide and shatter due to this virus is a nerve-wracking experience. And McIntosh does not keep the effects of the virus off-screen, either. Those scenes are disturbing, despite the whimsical nature of the title.


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