Mario Milosevic. The Untied States of America. (Interzone #228, May-June 2010).

(now available as a kindle ebook)

A simple transposition of two letters in the name of a country underpins the story. The United States are no longer united – literally. Supplied by some unknown agency, and with unknown powers, pellets delivered to the population of the USA with instructions to place them on state lines have resulted in the states being separated down to a tectonic level.

Cut adrift, the states are at the mercy of the tides and the winds, and for the most part the inhabitants of each states are mutually happy to see their previously neighbouring states moving away from them. A mother who lost her son many years ago, when he chose to brave the oceans and seek to find whatever other distant states had on offer, has those scars re-opened when a visitor arrives on the beach below her watch-station.

The story effectively deals with isolsation/ism, the need to find out what is beyond the next hill in comparison to those for whom the grass is always greener on the current side of the valley, and loss.

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