Jay Lake. A Long Walk Home. (The Year’s Best Science Fiction, 29th Annual Collection).

Originally in : Subterranean Magazine, Winter 2011 (and still online).

A thoughtful piece that sees one of Lake’s ‘Howards’, genetically and surgically enhanced humans with extreme longevity, finding himself alone on a planet. Indeed, having returned to the surface having spent months in deep caves, not only have all the humans disappeared from the planet, in the long, long decades/centuries that follow, as he walks his way around the planet, the suspicion is that there are no humans left anywhere in the universe. Has he missed the Rapture?

The sense of loneliness is palpable, madness due to solitude does appear, but only briefly, and the ending leaves you wondering just was is going to happen next.

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