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Gravesend, or, Everyday Life in the Anthropocene
by Paul McAuley

“The Anthropocene is an epoch of ghosts.”  —Anne McClintock

Rose Hathaway was discharged with a General Service medal, a one-off payment from the Armed Forces Compensation Office, and damage from a psych bomb jangling in her head. Although she was still haunted by glimpses of ghosts and a general feeling of low-level dread that sometimes flared into full-blown panic, the medics in the rehab clinic claimed that her symptoms were either psychosomatic or escalations of preexisting conditions, and no further treatment was possible.

“If they don’t think it’s real, why are we supposed to keep dosed up with phenelzine?” her friend Ollie McBride said, when he and Rose were given notice of their discharge. “Mean to say, it’s serious old-style pharma—just check out the side effects. Schizophrenia, seizures, sexual dysfunction, suicidal behaviors? And that’s not even half the S’s. Not to mention we’re supposed to avoid soy sauce, sauerkraut, kimchi. . . . Hell with that. Love me some kimchi, no better cure for a hangover.” READ MORE


Night Running
by Greg Egan

Luke heard the ping of the elevator arriving and glanced at the time on his screen: 9:49 pm. It was probably the cleaners coming through. The Roombas had started on the carpets about an hour before, but Ray and Elaine, the middle-aged couple who’d told Luke they’d held the cleaning contract for the building for the last eight years, still needed to empty the trash and wipe down all the desks and cubicle partitions.

He rose to his feet and rolled his neck for a few seconds, wondering if he should take their arrival as his cue to leave. The task he’d hoped to finish was now looking even more stubbornly intractable than when he’d begun, and if he didn’t get home before eleven he’d have no chance to do anything but fall into bed. He needed to spend an hour with a book, a game, or a TV show, just to lay down a clear memory that separated each day from the next, or he ended up back at his desk in the morning feeling like he’d never been away. READ MORE

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