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2047 Short Stories from Our Common Future

  • Verlag: TRB
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2047 Short Stories from Our Common Future

In 1987, the United Nations created a vision for our common future: one Earth, where we could all live together without damaging the planet for future generations. In this short-fiction anthology from 2017, ten authors look another thirty years into the future, giving their perspectives regarding how we might-or might not-adapt to the changes around us in the year 2047. As citizens on this blue planet of ours, we are currently experiencing great changes when it comes to global warming, pollution, and toxic substances that end up in our food and our drinking water. In addition, flora and fauna are disappearing from the places where we played when we were children, and natural resources are being depleted around the world. Life as we know it is changing. Some say these changes are happening faster than ever, which means we need to adapt faster too. So are we? Visit the book's webpage for more information http://2047ourcommonfuture.com


    Format: ePUB
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 171
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 6610000051021
    Verlag: TRB
    Größe: 277kBytes
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2047 Short Stories from Our Common Future

Kimberly Christensen

T he aftershocks of the slammed door reverberated in Petra's ears as her lover thumped down the stairs, past the little teahouse on the ground floor, and out of the building. Petra finished drying the last of the dishes, then wiped down the old butcher-block countertop, scrubbing at the same worn stains as if another pass of the sponge would finally remove them from the wood. The silence was broken only by the rasping of sponge against butcher block. A small gladness flickered to life in the silence and pushed away the tightness that ringed her rib cage. Petra almost started to hum.

Working her way through the living room, she adjusted the stack of books on the coffee table, lining up their spines then plumbing the whole pile so the long edges paralleled the edge of the table. She tidied Bethari's jumble of shoes, matching each to its mate as she set them in a careful line along the floorboards next to her own. She fought the compulsion to kick them into disarray and send them flying down the stairs after their owner.

Petra's sharp tongue had chased the woman off this morning, impatience finally bubbling over at Bethari's suggestion that picked green beans were an insufficient breakfast. Bethari had grabbed her raincoat and slammed the front door with a meaningful glance over her shoulder. A look that said they were too old for such arguments, and Petra's temper needed to lose its edges. As if Petra were some damned bottle of wine that should mellow with age.

She didn't even think mellowing with age was possible in 2047.

Before the whales had died, she and Janie might have philosophized about the possibilities of mellowing with age while living within a dystopia, laughing to themselves about the ironic nature of such a conversation when held from the comfort of a cat-covered couch. Before the whales died, they might have determined there were four ways of coping with the real-life dystopia of the modern world: addiction, suicide, anarchy, and hiding under the bed. They might have debated whether addiction was the same as suicide, just slower.

They never considered the slowest death: the one that comes when one loses her will to live.

Technically, Janie had died in the Pandemic of 2041, but Petra counted her death as having lasted four years, long enough to make it an epoch in the geology of her own lifespan. For four years, she had watched Janie withdraw into the private nautilus of her innermost self, curling her thoughts and dreams and essence into that smooth spiral of a shell. When Janie crossed over into the afterlife, Petra briefly wondered if she would miss her wife, as she'd grown used to the company of her own thoughts. Instead, grief pushed her down a long tunnel of darkness.

Petra flirted with the darkness-contemplated what it might feel like to exhale the tendrils of her own essence into the waiting void. But she never had really understood suicide, whether by action or addiction or slow wasting, so she just kept getting out of bed and doing the necessary things. In this way, she settled into widowhood and the gentle individuality of living alone. She had been one cat away from a perfect, self-contained life.

Then, with an easy laugh and the gentle caress of her graceful brown hand, Bethari had completely disrupted that. Her warm palms easily withstood the sharpest of Petra's prickles, and she had the sense, on days like today, to give Petra space to sort things out. Except, even with six years of widowhood behind her, Petra was no closer to mellowing into a fine wine. She wondered if vinegar was a more realistic goal.

Petra smoothed the coverlet in her room, squaring its corners and adjusting the pillows. She plucked several of Bethari's stockings off the floor and tossed them into the laundry pile. Next, she swiped at the bookcase wi

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