Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Dystopian/Short Story
Approximate word count: 10-15,000 words
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“Alyssa Cooper is a Canadian writer with a graphic design diploma and a passion for storytelling. She collects old books and antique typewriters, and has a preference for the darker side of fiction.”
For more, visit Cooper’s website.
“When ozone levels plummeted, the world changed. There’s no going back.
This is a world where sunshine can kill. Where there are heavy steel shutters on every window, and underground tunnels for safe passage. Where citizens nourish themselves with synthetic vitamins and rationed food, living a life in darkness, never seeing the sun.
This is the only world that eighteen-year-old Manda has ever known. As this strong, passionate girl struggles to bloom in a hard and unforgiving world, she finds a single comfort; Jordy, a man who delicately shows her how beautiful life can be. But then the letter comes.”
Originally published in 2012, the author did some revamping and republished it, hence the subtitle “The Author’s Edition” on Amazon.
This long-ish short story or novelette has a love story as a significant story thread, but the main story conflict is the protagonist Manda’s struggle living in the world the author has imagined. It isn’t clear why, but with rare exceptions, people are not exposed to the sun. Maybe the world is different due to climate change. (The rarity of rain and shortage of water argues for this.) Possibly it is due to government intervention for health reasons. Most likely a combination of both. Avoiding the sun is possible through a change in habits (most sleep during the day, with waking hours at night) and infrastructure (blackout blinds and underground tunnels to get from place to place). A thought-provoking story.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four Stars