Jay Lake. On the Human Plan. (The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2010).

Originally in Lone Star Stories – and still online here (bloody stupid photograph to illustrate the story if you ask me!).

I’d listened to this as a podcast (on Escape Pod prior to reading the story in this volume. So you’ve got the opportunity to read it, or listen to it before you read my words – and Lake’s words are far better than my words!

It’s a short story, packing a subtle punch. Setting in the dying days of our Sun, with humans increasingly moving away from ‘the human plan’, Dog the Digger relates a visit from a traveller from afar, seeking to find the doorway to death. In relating the story of that visit to the reader, Dog the Digger details a lot about the current state of humanity, and … how we have to some extent cheated death, albeit with a very high price to be paid. It’s a story that benefits from careful reading, there’s a lot of thought gone into its writing, with some clever imagery and thoughtful turns of phrase.

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