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2014 Story 115

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.

115. REMOVAL ORDER by Tananarive Due

Due’s story feels small and insular compared to much of the rest of the anthology; she focuses on the very minutely personal, and that makes the story stand out in an anthology full of stand outs. After a mass evacuation empties her community, Nayima stays behind to care for her grandmother who is dying of cancer. But eventually the community must be completely evacuated and burned to arrest the spread of a pandemic disease. Nayima learns the news from a local cop and must make a decision she’s been avoiding. Due leaves the “big picture” outside of the confines of the story; if she mentions the exact nature of this pandemic, I don’t remember it. What I do remember is the intensity of Nayima’s emotions, the feelings of abandonment and loyalty that war inside as her world collapses.


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