Rated PG: Contains Butterflies and Hurricanes. Happy Birthday, Ray!
by Genevieve Valentine
Martin Spatz, the actor, had gone Vagabonding in 8,000 BC and killed a wild dog that was about to attack him. (It was a blatant violation of the rules–you had to be prepared to die in the past, that was the first thing you signed on the contract. He went to jail over it. They trimmed two years off because he used a stick, and not the pistol he’d brought with him.)
No one could find a direct connection between the dog and the mice, but people speculated. People were still speculating, even though the mice were long dead.
Everything went, sooner or later; the small animals tended to last longer than the large ones, but eventually all that was left were some particularly hardy plants, and the butterflies. By the next year the butterflies were swarming enough to block out the summer sun, and Disease Control began to intervene.
About the Author
Genevieve Valentine is a novelist (her most recent is near-future political thriller ICON) and comic book writer, including Catwoman for DC Comics. Her short fiction has appeared in over a dozen Year’s Best collections; her nonfiction has appeared at the AV Club, NPR.org, The Atlantic, and the New York Times.
About the Narrator
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her very first Escape Pod appearance was in #209, when “On the Eyeball Floor” was narrated by Norm Sherman, and she’s been providing narration for PodCastle since our miniature episode 23, about 8 months prior to her first publication with Escape Pod. Her stories are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, from Fairwood Press. She is one of the current co-hosts of Escape Pod, and her narrations have appeared all over.
She is extremely delighted to have had both her stories and her narrations featured on all four Escape Artists podcasts. Find her intermittent, Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast at Toasted Cake, or find her at tinaconnolly.com.