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  • Writer's pictureChris Russell

Late for all the right reasons...

Outro S4 E17

Welcome bothers and sisters of the apocalypse to this celebration of love. 

A reading from the book of George:

And yea the Lord God spoke down from heaven to Maddog. “Go forth in your modified truck with the metal plates welded on it for defense into the desert.”

Maddog was confused and asked the Lord, “Why the desert?  For there is only mutation, hardship and death?”

“Don’t back-sass me!” Said the Lord.  “I wasn’t finished.”

“You must travel for 40 days and 40 nights until you come upon the place known as the ruins of Las Vegas.  There I will provide you with a bride so that you may be blessed.  You’re children, and your children’s children will fill the wastelands with their progeny.”

To which Maddog, son of Earl, replied, “Damn Skippy! I’m getting me some!”

Hi folks, welcome back, just having a little fun there. 

For you time travelers it is the 3rd week of March 2024.   We have just finished episode 17 of season 4.  And I am running late with this episode, but, thanks to the nature of podcasting most of you won’t ever know and certainly won’t care. 

Can you believe we are 4 years in?  I’m proud of myself for keeping to the schedule.

I have been busy in my personal life. 

(Isn’t it funny how people say things like ‘personal life’ or ‘real life’?  I mean, isn’t it all personal and real?)

Since we last spoke I successfully ran the Napa Valley marathon, but, even more impressively, survived 17 wine tasting events in the week that followed. 

And then last weekend we were down in DC for my youngest daughter’s wedding.

Those are my excuses – what are yours?

And as you can probably tell from my voice, I managed to catch a cold along the way.

I managed to read a couple books too, because I am that guy. 

The first one was called The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham.  My Mom gave me this book.  She read it for a book club and thought the author’s writing style was similar to mine. 

As I read it I see the similarities.  He has a lot of 1st person poetic musings and rich descriptions of the natural world.  I liked it and would recommend it as a book to lay aside for your summer vacation.  I ended up gifting forward to one of the people we were in Napa with.

The second one, I just now finished, and I only finished it because I was sick this week and I tend to read when I’m sick, was

After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

This was, as the title suggests another short story compilation.  You know I love short stories!

However, when I opened it up I realized I had been duped!  (If you’re paying attention – I get duped a lot.) 

Here is the story of dupage:  I settled comfortably in my comfy chair, leaned back and cracked open the book with unbridled, giddy anticipation. 

I began to read the introduction.  Because, I’m that guy who reads the introductions. 

And the first sentence says, “Welcome to After, a volume of brand-new dystopian and post-apocalyptic tales for young adult readers by some of the very best writers working today…”

Hold on. 

Young adult? 

Apparently I had picked up a short story collection of YA authors. 

No where in the book description, nowhere on the cover,, (front back or spine), nowhere in the front-matter, or in the table of contents for that matter…NOWHERE did the book say Young Adult until you got to that first sentence of the introduction. 

I was duped!  I was bamboozled!

But, I was already in my comfy chair, so I began to read. 

And you know what?  If you hadn’t told me I would never had known these were YA stories. 

Which brings us to a bunch of questions, like ‘what defines dystopian?’ and ‘what defines young adult?’ 

Is it that these stories use less complex vocabulary and simpler prose?  (Maybe, but is that a young adult thing?  (Hemmingway would like to have a word with you).

The only thing I noticed was that most of the stories were told from the POV of a younger character - a child or more often a teenager.  And that makes perfect sense because how more dystopian can you get than being a teenager in today’s world?

How perfect a metaphor is it to have characters who when they become adults also become unthinking, bloodthirsty beasts?  Seem pretty on-point to me.

Lots of rebellion against authority themes in there.

There were a couple stories where it smelled too much like The Hunger Games, but there were some fantastic stories as well. 

I’d recommend it. 

With that, I’ll move you towards the exit. 

Please support the show – all of the ways you can do that are on my website at

Don’t forget we are accepting stories to edit and read into audio for the season break.  Don’t be afraid to submit something, we’ll coach you through it. 

And that give us 888 words.

Keep a wary eye on any young adults that are skulking about the bunker and, as always, keep surviving.

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