When the Rains Come Back, by Cadwell Turnbull

Read by Niecee X.

This story first appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction in 2018.

When the Rains Come Back

Myron knew he’d find Sasha on the roof of their little domed house. Since she was little she’d climb the coconut tree onto the dome so she could watch the moon. From Ath during a crescent moon, you could see the faint glimmer of the moon’s greenhouses shining star-like out from the lunar night. Sasha hardly ever missed an opportunity to see it.
Myron stood on the massive stone at the edge of their yard. The roof of their house wasn’t very high. From his position he could see that Sasha was lying on her back, her hands cupped under her head, her elbows pointed like little wings. The stars sparkled overhead. You couldn’t get a view of the night sky like this in cities on the continent. Even Great Prince didn’t have a view like this, with all their city lights.
The greenhouses were one thing to behold, but what Sasha really wanted to see was the colony itself. The colony’s dome wasn’t made of clay like the dome of their house, but of tri-layered panels of glass, plastic and argon. The sort of thing only a capitalist could dream up. It was impossible to see with the naked eye, but Sasha liked imagining it up there, a thriving metropolis on another world.
Myron called out to Sasha. “Little one!”
“Yes, Pap,” Sasha said. “You need me?”
“No child.” Myron smiled up at his twelve-year-old daughter. “Just wanted to ask you something.”
Sasha sat up on the dome. “Hmmm,” she said, which meant spit it out; he was disturbing her night gazing.
“I’m going to Big Island tomorrow,” Myron said. “You want to come with?”
“By boat?” she asked.
“Sea plane,” Myron answered.
Myron couldn’t quite see his daughter’s face. But he knew she was smiling because he knew his daughter.
“Yes!” she said. “When?”
“Early morn,” he said. “Soon after rooster crow. Be ready.”
Sasha nodded and returned to her gazing. She would stay up there for a while longer and then climb down defeated, failing again to locate the object of her affection.
Myron hated the moon colony. But Sasha loved it; she wanted to visit it one day. Myron and Sasha’s mother Leanna could not get the fascination out of her. He just hoped that she would resist the lure of such things. Anarchists belong to Ath, not the moon.


Myron and Sasha watched from the beach as the seaplane came in for a landing. The plane roared as its floats touched down on the blue-green water, spitting up sea foam as it skimmed the surface.
Myron wiped his forehead with a piece of cloth. The sea breeze did nothing for the heat. Sasha was sweating too, but she seemed unconcerned about the beating sun. She watched the seaplane like it was some magnificent god.
The plane turned in the water, its twin propellers slowing to a stop. It settled next to the dock. A woman leaned out of the plane to call them forward. Myron, with his daughter in hand, made the short walk across the creaky dock that knifed out a little ways into the sea. They climbed into the seaplane and greeted the captain and her second, women Myron had never met.
They exchanged names. The second called herself Mamyeh. The pilot was Cianna.
“Beautiful day for a short hop,” said Mamyeh, smiling at Sasha.
“Yes, miss,” she said, smiling back shyly.
“Oh no no,” said the woman. “Don’t go calling me miss. I not so old yet.”
“What is your kind?” Myron asked. He made trips to Great Prince all the time, and was usually escorted by a team of Dema-socialists, also women. He’d come to know them well, and expected them for the escort. But these two were new.
“Just vagas, mister,” said the woman.
“Oh?” Myron smiled at the woman. Vagas were people without government who made their life working among different kinds. People without roots.
The woman smiled back at Myron with knowing eyes. “Don’t worry, mister. We got a community on Big Island. Fellow vagas. Good people.”
“Strap in,” said Cianna, her voice deeper and sterner than her second.
Myron and Sasha strapped in. And then they were off. As the plane skipped across the water and heaved itself into the salty air, Myron looked out the window at Little Princess. He watched the little community of domed houses, watched his people mill around in the heat. Not too many. The sun was too violent at this time of day for strolling about.
When he was too high up to see the people anymore, he surveyed the island in its entirety. He didn’t like what he saw. Usually from this high up, the island looked green and beautiful, dense plant-life that could attract any tourist just by looking. But now the sight was mostly brown. Everything looked worn and withered. As they passed the west farms, Myron had to look away. Nothing was growing. The few crops they managed to plant were wilting in the sun.
“Such a hideous thing,” said Mamyeh. “The rains have been gone so long, who knows how we poor islanders will survive.”
The dry period had been coming on for years. Now they were lucky if they got a few inches.
“Is it no different on Big Island?” Myron asked. “Surely you get help from other govs?”
Mamyeh nodded. “But all the region govs getting hit hard too. And many of the region govs on continent don’t have the means to transport their surpluses.”
The woman was looking at Myron, so she caught his change in expression. She nodded in affirmation. “Yes, the global govs have been helping us. But even with their help, things have been hard.”
Myron was the representative of his small gov. But he hadn’t travelled to Great Prince for a while. He was not fully aware of all the changes. His expression darkened. Now he knew the full scope of the summit.
“How many global govs?” Myron asked.
“Hard to say,” Mamyeh answered. “Maybe three or four. Regulations say that none a-them can have too much influence. They must work their deals through local and region govs.”
Myron nodded. “What kinds?”
“Two global socialist govs. Hamers and Angelies, I think. And one capitalist as far as I can tell. Maybe another one, though less powerful.”
“Coming in on Big Island,” Cianna announced.
Myron looked out the window and they were already descending. From this height Great Prince looked just as starved as home, all brown and dying plant-life. Maglev trains sped across the surface of Great Prince like silver veins. The sky was busy with small aircrafts that buzzed like mosquitoes. On the surface, solar cars snaked their way along cramped streets. Great Prince had two dozen govs, quite a few of them capitalist, so the tech was markedly more advanced than on Little Princess.
Soon they were on the water and pulling up to the dock, which was much more impressive than the creaky wooden one on their island. The women waved them goodbye as they exited the seaplane and found their way to the busy street and into a free shuttle.
The bus was cramped with travelers, so they had to stand. It didn’t take them too long to reach the summit building, strategically located near the docks.
A large crowd of gov representatives were already clamoring inside when they arrived. Myron allowed Sasha to walk ahead of him, since she’d be able to maneuver through the crowd and find them a good seat. It took him several minutes before he was through the doors of the summit building and another few minutes before he entered the hall. He spotted Sasha jumping and waving near the front and made his way down the aisle to where she had picked out a pair of seats.
The hall itself wasn’t anything spectacular. It could seat up to five hundred occupants comfortably, which meant many spectators would have to wait outside the building, watching the proceedings from a big screen set up for the purposes of spillover. Because he was a representative of a gov, he was guaranteed a space inside and a spot for a guest or two. Usually though, there weren’t this much people. This was clearly very important.
Before long, a short man made his way to the podium and the room quieted down to listen.
“Greetings residents of Great Prince and neighboring islands. We have an announcement.”
The man was pale, which meant he wasn’t from these parts. He had an accent Myron didn’t recognize. The United Governments must have sent him.
“This drought that has struck you is being felt all across the world,” he continued. “Other govs have suffered from your crop losses. Certainly not in the way you’ve suffered, but a loss anywhere is felt everywhere. If you have been tuning into our UG deliberations, you would have learned that we have placed humanitarian aid as our top priority. Great Prince is struggling, but because of your technological level, you’ve been able to stave off the worse. But many of your smaller islands with more-uh”—he paused to think—“reclusive governments,”—he nodded, apparently satisfied with himself—“have been suffering tremendously.”
Myron watched Sasha. She looked bored.
The man continued: “I know some of your govs might be hesitant to accept aid. But don’t be afraid. The UG is making sure that large governments will not exploit you. Any governments above regional designation must work through regional governments in order to offer aid. These partnerships will prevent any trouble. Local govs can then form partnerships with any regional gov they wish for as long as they wish and no longer. I trust that you will be able to work out the specifics among yourselves. Some govs have already started partnerships.”
The man smiled warmly. “That is the full announcement. Your choice and your trust under this wondrous panarchy remains preserved. Good luck in your lives. We hope this time of struggle passes.”
The man left the podium and people began to leave the summit hall.
“That was it?” Sasha asked, clearly annoyed. “They could have told us this from Little Island.”
“They have to invite people to come so people can protest if needed.”
“Protest what?”
Myron shook his head. “Nothing this time.”
Sasha huffed and folded her arms.
“At least we got a trip out of it,” Myron added.
This managed to change Sasha’s mood. She smiled.
“What you want to do today?” Myron asked as they got up and made their way out of the hall.
“Don’t know,” Sasha said. She was cupping her chin in thought.
Someone touched Myron on his arm. He stopped and turned to see who it was.
It was the same white man that made the speech. “Hello. I’m Hollan Feters. Could I trouble you to discuss the situation on your island?”
“Yes,” Myron said. “I’m afraid you have the advantage here. I don’t know anything about you, but you seem to know me.”
“It is my job to know people,” said Hollan with a smile Myron didn’t like. “You are from Little Princess, yes? Representative of the anarchist gov there?”
Myron nodded. He looked down at Sasha. She was quiet as usual, but watching the men intently. Always so attentive.
“Yes, I am the representative,” Myron answered. “Should we go to lunch?”
“Yes, naturally. I know a great place.”
“We usually eat fish and local fruits and vegetables,” Myron said.
“Oh.” Hollan looked a little saddened by the information. “Surely you wouldn’t mind a change of experience. The food is lovely at the place I’m inviting you to.”
Myron looked down at his daughter. She was nodding at him, which meant stop being so uptight and accept the man’s offer.
“Okay,” Myron said. “Lead the way.”

Hollan was right. The food was good. As Hollan talked, Myron chewed on a piece of steak. The meat was tender, not tough like the beef they ate on occasion when they slaughtered a cow getting on in years.
Yes, the meat was good. But what life did this cow live? Myron looked over at Sasha. She had left her meat untouched.
“Are you sure your daughter wouldn’t be happier going to the movies or something? Leaving us to this boring affair.”
Myron frowned. “Where I am from we don’t patronize our children. My daughter is perfectly capable of participating in this boring affair.”
“But she’s been so quiet,” Hollan said.
“She will speak when she wants.”
“Okay,” Hollan said, throwing up his hands. “Fine by me.” Hollan’s meal was already devoured. He wasn’t suffering from the same moral dilemma as they were.
“Which gov do you represent?” Myron asked. “One of the socialist govs? Or maybe you’re a capitalist.”
Hollan smiled at Myron. It was the same way he did before, that made Myron feel like worms were crawling under his skin.
“I belong to one of each actually. Angelies and Romana. I’m a dual citizen. But I’m here to serve Romana’s interests at the moment.” Another smile.
Myron drank down all his water and refilled it with a pitcher on the table. The restaurant was well decorated: pretty vases in the center of the table with flowers he’d never seen, intricately designed table cloths, long draping chandeliers, and servers dressed in elegant black and red suits and firm fitting dresses. This was definitely meant to impress Myron. He wondered what a show like this would cost his people.
“What do you want?” Myron asked.
“We’d like to offer you food,” Hollan answered.
“Yes, but you also want something.”
“Romana sets aside a certain amount of our budget for humanitarian aid. It makes us more attractive to potential citizens looking to join our gov.”
“You’re not answering the question,” Sasha said, looking up from her still-full plate.
Myron watched Hollan’s expression change. Genuine surprise. Myron had to admit. He liked seeing Hollan surprised.
“And the girl speaks. That is a sharp one you have there.”
“I do not have her. She has herself.”
“You anarchists,” Hollan said, and then catching himself: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult. Some of my best friends belong to anarchist govs.”
Probably anarcho-capitalists, Myron thought but didn’t say.
“On your island,” Hollan continued, apparently deciding to get to his point, “you have a certain type of mango, yes? Small and sweet. Not stringy like so many other small mangoes. Deep orange meat, like a sunset. Tourists come from all over to eat it. They pay well too, don’t they?”
Myron nodded, narrowing his eyes. “We call it sweet plum. And tourists do pay a price for it. We use that money to buy whatever tech we need. Solar lamps to light our houses. Electric stoves. Computers and laptops. Medicine. We have no other source of revenue.”
Myron took another bite of his meat, chewing slowly, keeping his eyes on Hollan. The man seemed to enjoy the attention, curling his lips in that disturbing smile. Myron swallowed.
“You cannot have it,” Myron said.
“We will pay generously—“
“Ask the communists from Queen Mary. We can’t stop you. They have sweet plum too, though not as sweet.”
“They said they originally got the seeds from you.”
“That’s honorable of them. Too bad for you though.”
Hollan glowered. “How long will you starve yourselves and refuse outside help?”
“But this isn’t help. This is coercion.”
Hollan was turning red. “You—“
Sasha interrupted. “Didn’t you say up there on that podium that global govs have to act through regional ones? You shouldn’t even be here right now, ambushing us like this.”
Hollan looked at Sasha. He was careful not to show any real aggression. He laughed nervously. “Such a smart girl.”
“Person,” Sasha corrected. “Don’t patronize me.”
Myron smiled proudly.
“Listen,” Hollan said, looking at both of them, forcing down his anger. “We just want the seeds. You can set the terms. We will only grow the ones you give to us. We will only sell as much as you allow. In exchange we will give you whatever food you need. Our green houses and hyperbolic growth chambers can match your natural environment perfectly. We can grow the food you like to eat.”
“That’s moon tech isn’t it?” Sasha asked.
Myron could see the interest in her eyes, even though she tried to hide it behind a tight jaw. He knew his daughter.
“Yes,” Hollan confirmed. “But we’ve been using it globally.”
Sasha nodded, satisfied. She returned to staring down at her plate.
“Please,” Hollan said. “Consider it. We will work through the regional govs as promised. And you can end the arrangement at any time.”
“I will bring it to my people,” Myron said. “That’s all I can do.”

There were so many people crammed into their summit dome that they had to crank their one air conditioner to the max. It did nothing. Almost one hundred people vying for space. Myron secretly wished some of them had stayed outside. But this was not their way.
“We have been living like this for over a century,” said one man. “We only started selling the mangoes because outside govs thought we were too isolationist. And now that’s not enough? They want to take our seeds too?”
The room erupted in shouts of affirmation.
A woman in the back of the room yelled: “Sell the damn seeds! My child need food!”
A chorus of agreement.
“We only need to do it for a little while,” said another woman. “When the rains come back, we can take back our seeds. We set the terms.”
“I am not a capitalist!” said someone from the front. It was Myron’s grandmother. “Some of ayo too young to care, but not too long ago, during the time of my great granpap, capitalists ruled Ath. And they almost destroy civilization! A few centuries before that they had all of we dark people as slaves! For profit! You believe a thing like that?”
People jeered passionately.
“I not trusting no damn capitalist,” his grandmother continued. “I don’t care if it makes me a bad panarchist.”
Thunderous applause.
“But we don’t have any food,” said another woman, old but younger than his grandmother. “Soon we gon have to ration like those damn communists from Queen Mary!”
A few bits of laughter mixed in with murmurs.
Myron looked to his wife Leanna, sitting at his side at the discussion table. It was an honor they gave to the family of the representative, but that didn’t mean they had any more say over the decision than anyone else.
His wife was staring in the mid distance, seemingly in intense concentration. He knew she would speak and many in the room did too. They respected her, even though she was originally an outsider. She would be able to sway some people with her words.
When Leanna spoke it was soft. But the whole room hushed to hear her.
“Back when I was a child, there was another drought. Not quite as terrible as this one, mind you. But bad-bad. On Queen Mary we always kept ration, but our rations were shrinking. People were worried. Back then we decided we would throw parties every night. Bring all our rations together from the day to make a feast. So we ate under the stars, coal pots burning on our beaches, salt on our tongues. We passed the food round and everyone ate. We told stories by bonfires. We held our children. When the rains came back, we were skinnier, but we were happy.
“Now when I go back home to my family, there is a party on the beach every week. People save up their rations for it. And they pass the food ‘round. And they laugh through the night.”
Leanna was looking around the room now. Everyone was silent. Many knew that the communists had these parties, but Leanna’s words came from her mouth like magic. It felt like new knowledge.
“Whatever good or evil comes, it comes from people, not things. Not govs. Ideology doesn’t fill bellies. When the rains come and there’s no one left to see it, what will any of this matter?
“We live. We change. Leave stubbornness to the dead.”
Myron looked at his daughter. For most of the discussion she had been looking down at her hands. Now she was looking at her mother. He knew his daughter, but in moments like this he couldn’t tell what she was thinking. His little paradox. She’d be a woman soon enough. Who knows where she’d end up? He knew she would likely leave him one day, leave this little rock in this blue-green sea.
People had already started arguing amongst themselves again. Leanna had succeeded in winning over quite a few people, but there was still no consensus. They would have to go to vote or risk an endless deadlock.
“Okay,” Myron said, standing. “Shall we vote?”

Ten Years Later

Sasha spent a lot of her early nights on colony in her room reading history books about the collapse. When she was not at work in the colony’s growth chambers, she scoured the colony’s virtual libraries, pouring over books like a religion, learning things about Ath she’d never learned on Little Princess.
For one thing, most people back home believed the global economic collapse happened quickly. In truth, the collapse was slow, a culmination of many boom and bust cycles over several decades.
As global capitalism deteriorated, with each recovery more short-lived than the last, people started thinking up alternatives. It started among academics of relative privilege, playing out theoretical games with the world’s resources, devising better systems of distribution and stability and organizing people.
By the time of the collapse, people had secretly declared themselves members of all sorts of imaginary governments, had even enacted small-scale experiments in their names.
When things got bad, when Ath erupted into a war that lasted a half-century, it was these groups that proved the most tenacious. They carried around their governments in their heads, devised ways to distribute resources, to defend themselves, to gain influence. These govs had no borders, no lands, just the volunteered allegiance of their citizens.
Sasha found herself imagining those distant people, trying to find footing in a rapidly changing world. It helped her cope with the changes in her own world.
The transition to colony had not been easy. Sasha missed swimming in the ocean, missed running around without shoes on dirt roads and climbing coconut trees. She missed the cool breeze that whipped through her hair on tropical winter nights.
Her room in colony had windows, but all she could see was the inside of the dome, its artificial light, other buildings poking up from the moon’s surface like branchless trees. She could make the smart-glass show her images of Ath, of the sun shining over the blue-sphere of her home-world, but it felt too artificial. Sad to go to a place you had dreamed about all your life, she thought, and find that you were still dissatisfied.
So she read books.
Growing up Sasha had always been told that the panarchists came after the great economic collapse. So many things, she realized, were like this: half-truths, guesses, myths. Even the scholars deliberated on the fine details endlessly.
History is like water. It slips through fingers, gifting the world with wet hands. The rest falls away.
There was one idea that stuck, however. Sasha imagined it as a pebble in the constant stream. Ath held onto it, united behind it.
Governments should not force allegiance on their people. People should be able to choose. Anything less is slavery.
It was a mantra she read in all her books, in some form or another. It was elemental, encapsulating the world’s ideals, their hopes, their dreams.
Too bad this was also a half-truth. Nothing is so easy. Choices aren’t clean. They’re muddied by so many things.
“Your mother misses you. She wants you home.”
Sasha and her father were having dinner in her room, staring at each other from across a small steel table. He had only arrived on colony an hour before, his first time off-world. Of course he wasted no time to guilt her, to make her feel like she had abandoned them. They couldn’t even have a decent meal before he started in on her.
“Don’t put this on mamee,” Sasha said, barely concealing her annoyance. “You here for you.”
“Your mother agrees with me.”
“No she don’t. She told me last week that she was happy that I was happy.”
“But are you?”
Sasha took a bite of her saltfish. She chewed slowly, savoring the tender meat, the sweet plum glaze. Her father watched her, not touching his meal.
“I love my work,” Sasha answered finally. “The research I’m doing in crop science is groundbreaking.” There was something else she wanted to add, but she didn’t.
“Not an answer to my question,” Myron said, staring at her, trying to read her like a book. She hated that.
Sasha sighed, looking away from her father’s face to the plate in front of him. She knew why he wasn’t eating. Since they had decided to allow help from Romana, their community had been torn apart. When the rains came back, half the community decided to return to their old ways, and the other half decided to become anarcho-capitalists, maintaining their relationship with Romana through the Great Prince Dema-socialists. The two communities supported each other, but not without resentments.
“Come home,” her father said.
“I’m fine, Pap,” Sasha said, smiling. “Really.”
“Every year these damn capitalists exploit people, gaining more power for themselves. Now that they’ve left Ath, how long do you think it will be before they start thinking that they can force people to do what they want? How long before they enslave you?”
Her father shook through the words, unable to contain his fear. He picked up his fork and stabbed into the saltfish only to release the fork again. He wouldn’t eat much here, no matter what she placed in front of him. This was a place he thought people shouldn’t be.
“You won’t be safe here,” he said, confirming her thoughts. “You will never be safe among these people.”
“Colony is filled with people of all kinds, Pap,” Sasha said. “I’ve become a dual-citizen of our home-gov and an anarcho-socialist gov here under the dome. It isn’t just capitalists up here. They share influence just like on Ath.”
“But who holds the majority?”
Sasha didn’t answer. Her father already knew the answer to the question. That’s why he was asking it.
Truthfully Sasha was worried too. Panarchy had proven to be extremely durable. But could it span a solar system? A galaxy? Even with regulations, the global govs found a million different ways to stretch their power. What would that look like on a galactic scale?
On colony she had met people of all kinds. People from monarchies, technocracies, meritocracies, and oligarchies; she worked with communists and socialists and anarchists and capitalists and hybrids of every manner. She’d seen income-based economies and resource-based economies, share and gift economies, all co-existing in one place peacefully. But her readings had also taught her that peace was a fragile thing, that conflict was always clawing its way to the surface. What face will it have when it crests? What will be the price?
Sasha took a breath. Prepared herself. “I met someone,” she said.
“What kind?” her father asked.
“She is a wonderful woman. We take care of each other.”
“You are not answering my questions.”
Sasha stared into her father’s eyes. When she was a child, he trusted her so much, treated her like a person that could make her own decisions. Since she’d left, he’d changed. He no longer trusted her to make good choices. He didn’t believe in her. She felt her eyes burn, her throat tighten.
She watched his face change, like clay slowly molded into a new form. She barely recognized him, the way his nose flared and his mouth twitched, the way his eyes got so wide that the sclera surrounded the brown iris all around, drowning the brown in a sea of white.
“No,” he said. “Don’t tell me—“ He slammed his hand down on the table, denting the steel slab. The movement was sudden and explosive. Sasha gasped audibly.
“How could you do this?” he asked, his voice trembling.
“People do this all the time,” Sasha answered, her eyes wet with tears.
“I will not allow it.”
“Govs have no borders and neither does love,” she said defensively. “You married a communist.”
“I will not.”
Sasha glared at her father, the fire in her finally rising. “You don’t have a choice.”
Her father stopped talking then. He looked at her, his eyes pleading. But he had no power he could call upon to move her. No authority except a fatherly one that he’d never truly exercised, not in this way.
Sasha wanted to reach out and touch him, to tell him a convenient lie that would make it all right. But things hadn’t been all right for a long time. Everything had changed.
“They’re taking over the island,” her father said. Now he was crying in frustration. “They’ve taken our mangoes. They’ve corrupted our culture.”
Sasha remembered her mother’s words that day they had made the decision to live for now and not for some potential future tragedy. Now that tragedy was here. And what they did now would also have repercussions for the next future.
“I’m sorry,” she said to her father, reaching over to touch his bruised hand. He tensed at her touch, but eased into it, saying nothing.
She tried to smile at him, but it felt false and she soon gave up.
One day she’d have children. And what world would they choose for themselves? Perhaps they would choose something that would horrify her. Or something that would make her proud. Maybe that future would be entirely different from now. They’d be on some new planet, some distant moon. Maybe they’d be entering a war or ending one. Or maybe this peace will last a thousand years.
She rubbed her father’s hand gently. Later she would introduce him to Rosa. She hoped he would understand then. But she couldn’t be certain, of this or anything else. Only that she loved her father. Only that he loved her. She’d leave the rest for tomorrow.
“Okay,” Sasha said. “I’ll come visit for a little while.”
“That would be nice,” her father said.
In the ensuing silence Sasha thought of what it would be like to stare up at the Moon again from Ath. She’d dreamed of visiting it for all her life and now it was her home. So peculiar, the distance of things, and how time brings them ever closer. Given enough time, all things touch.


Since this interview was recorded, Cadwell’s debut novel The Lesson was released.

About the author: Cadwell Turnbull is a graduate from the North Carolina State University’s Creative Writing MFA in Fiction and English MA in Linguistics. He was the winner of the 2014 NCSU Prize for Short Fiction and attended Clarion West 2016. His short fiction has appeared in The Verge, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Asimov’s Science Fiction. His Asimov’s short story “When the Rains Come Back” made Barnes and Noble’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy’s Short Fiction Roundup in April 2018. His Nightmare story “Loneliness is in Your Blood” was selected for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. His Asimov’s novelette “Other Worlds and This One” was also selected by the anthology as a notable story. The Lesson is his debut novel.

About the host: Margaret Killjoy is a transfeminine author and editor currently based in the Appalachian mountains. Her most recent book is an anarchist demon hunters novella called The Barrow Will Send What it May, published by Tor.com. She spends her time crafting and complaining about authoritarian power structures and she blogs at birdsbeforethestorm.net.

This podcast was made possible by the generous supporters of Margaret’s Patreon. In particular, thanks go out to Chris, Nora, Hoss the Dog, Kirk, Argawarga Press, Natalie, and Sam.