Desolate Places (anthology)
Edited by Eric T. Reynolds, with Adam Nakama
Over 150,000 words of imaginative fiction set in or about desolate places.

Does nothing happen in a desolate place?  This book’s cover photograph by
Erich Hernandez-Baquero was taken in a dry lakebed of Death Valley National
Park called The Racetrack where rocks separate from the nearby mountains
and slide across the flat valley floor.  This movement has never been
witnessed, but is evident from the trails left by the rocks creating a local and
unique mystery.

Our world has an abundance of desolate places, but in the early part of the
twenty-first century as the human population passes six billion our cities grow
more crowded and human settlements continue to expand as bulldozers push
out into the wilderness.  Areas that were once thought to be uninhabitable are
now being converted through technology; barren tracts of land are bought up
by speculators, divided and sold.  Earth’s desolate places are quickly becoming
less common.

But desolate places exist elsewhere.  In fact, every place beyond Earth is a
desolate place.  Shortly after Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in
1969 he uttered the words, “Magnificent desolation.”  Magnificent it was, for
surrounding him was a land that had never been explored.   And to think that
the Moon—a mostly unexplored land the size of Africa—is just a tiny speck in
a vast, desolate Universe.

These stories are rich in description and human introspection.  Alone in a
desert, stranded on an asteroid, adrift in space, and more.  Individuals examine
their lives, their relationships with those they left behind, their skills at survival,
whether they have the right to intrude on whatever occupies the place
(however subtle that may be), and their adaptability to the unknown.  In some
cases they’ve chosen to venture into these barren worlds.  For others the
selection was not theirs.  They cope as well as they can, solving the puzzles
presented by their new environments.

From authors: Z. S. Adani, Camille Alexa, Michael Anthony, Tom Barlow, Paul
Bates, Chris Benton, Skadi meic Beorh, Brenta Blevins, Gustavo Bondoni, Sue
Burke, Jean-Michel Calvez, Scott Christian Carr, Willis Couvillier, Jennifer
Crow, Hazel Dixon, F.V. "Ed" Edwards, Sara Genge, Jude-Marie Green, Max
Habilis, James Hartley, Shelley Savran Houlihan, Davin Ireland, Meghan
Jurado, Stephen Graham King, Fran LaPlaca, Gerri Leen, C. A. Manestar, Paul
E. Martens, Lyn McConchie, Alex Moisi, Mari Ness, Stephen D. Rogers,
Trent Roman, Shaun Ryan, Lawrence M. Schoen, Cavan Scott, Katherine
Shaw, Douglas Smith, Eric Vogt, Bill Ward.
Cover photograph Copyright (c)
Erich Hernandez-Baquero | | |
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