Monday, June 15, 2020

Real Animals, by Em North


(Alien Invasion Apocalypse Horror) The aliens occupied and controlled the bodies of animals, destroying most of humanity. A few survivors in a ski resort pass the time preserving the bodies of friends who didn’t make it. (7,768 words; Time: 25m)

"Real Animals," by (edited by John Joseph Adams), appeared in issue 121, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2020.315 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s quickly clear that everyone in this story is crazy—and no wonder, after watching all their friends and family die. Kay spends her time stuffing the bodies of people who’ve died. Buck wages war against the intelligent animals who’re trying to kill them—bringing some back for them to eat. Rafi is still stunned from the death of her husband, and somehow she’s trying to recreate the intimate friendship she and Kay had before they married.

It seems inevitable that Buck will go off and not come back eventually. And it also seems inevitable that Kay and Rafi will have to eventually leave the chalet. But at least they do it together.

Con: As apocalypses go, this one is rather hard to believe in. Even with aliens animating them, I don’t see how animals could have accomplished the destruction of the human race.

Rafi, Kay, and Buck’s situation seems so hopeless it’s hard to root for them; even Rafi was ready for the bear to kill her and was almost mad at Graham for saving her.

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