Friday, 18 November 2016

zero one, zero two

by Amanda Baker

The Japanese went off sex, England was obliterated by fracking-induced nuclear accidents. Russia suffered as massive amounts of carbon dioxide escaped from a thawing tundra. Long frozen, melting carcasses added anthrax to the problem. Africa became desert, the Amazon basin, a rotting swamp of dying trees. Australia burned for two decades. After the cannibalism came the culling. After the pandemics came the land collapses. Eventually there were too few humans left. A handful of mixed race people survived the visiting and re-visiting circus of plagues that followed the endless wars and 21st century global conflicts. The remaining people, diminished by environmental catastrophes and mutated diseases, battled for survival but the planet became a hostile place for humans. Now a 200-year-old woman is hurtling across space, with a precious cargo, at the mercy of technology she does not understand.

Amanda Baker lives in Edinburgh and is an author and poet (shortlisted in the 2011 Bridport International Poetry Prize). She is also a blogger @ brown girl outside the ring and a comedy/spoken word artiste who has performed in many venues, from the back rooms of pubs to The Sage in Gateshead. She has also appeared at many UK festivals and was a national stand-up comedy finalist. Amanda has written novels for adults including The Companion Contract, she’s had micro-horror published online and her futuristic short story The Remainder was published by Iron Press and also appears in full in her comedy sortofautobiography Maybe I'm not a Pigeon. Amanda’s adventure books for junior school children appear under pseudonym Adnam Arekab, see Eleanor & the Dragons of Death [Writers Digest 4*]. Plus, Amanda’s first picture book for young children Ella & the Knot Fairies which she also illustrated, was released in Sept 2016. Her epic environmental poetry story Casey and the Surfmen, read by her and featured in this novella, is available to listen to in full from bandcamp.