Three innovative authors imagine the end of humanity. Postcards From the Future is the remarkable result. Andrew Lark’s “Pollen” is a riveting, multiple point-of-view account of a strange atmospheric phenomenon that destroys humankind’s ability to reproduce, ushering in the extinction of our species. Donald Levin’s “The Bright and Darkened Lands of the Earth” is a gripping tale set in a desperate, post-apocalyptic future where a heroic woman battles ecological and social collapse in an effort to save her tribe—and humanity—from certain annihilation. Wendy Sura Thomson’s “Silo Six” is a suspenseful story of love and survival set far into the future, when the sun begins its transformation into a red giant and scorches the earth into a virtually uninhabitable cinder.
An award-winning fiction writer and poet, I'm the author of seven Martin Preuss mysteries: In the House of Night (2020), Cold Dark Lies (2019), An Uncertain Accomplice (2018), The Forgotten Child (2017), Guilt in Hiding (2016), The Baker’s Men (2014), and Crimes of Love (2011).
I'm also a contributor to a new book of dystopian novellas, Postcards from the Future: A Triptych on Humanity's End (2019). I am the author of The House of Grins (1992), a novel; and two books of poetry, In Praise of Old Photographs (2005) and New Year’s Tangerine (2007). My poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous print and e-journals. Follow my blog at www.donaldlevin.wordpress.com and my website at www.donaldlevin.com.
The main character of my novella, "The Bright and Darkened Lands of the Earth," is a young woman named Ash. She makes three journeys in the novella: the first in her tribal role as a scavenger for food or anything else that might be of use to her underground tribe, and the other two journeys with more specific purposes. This excerpt is the beginning of her second journey, where her instructions start with finding a nearby river. Her trek takes her into parts of the post-apocalyptic wasteland where she has never been before.
Postcards from the Future: A Triptych on Humanity's End
Ash has no trouble locating the river, now as wide as a lake from the backflow from the body of water that used to be called Hudson Bay. In the soft light of early morning, made dimmer by the smoked glass of her helmet, she shuffles through a shallow gully beside the river bed. Here and there she passes the fine, feathery skeletons of long-dead lake creatures peeking through the sand of the gully, left as the waters of the river have begun to recede. It is as if the world is beginning to contract.