Invasion, by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant (40:00)

IOD-Invasion.jpgToday we see another IOD survivor, and appropriately enough, it’s a story about survivors. But I’m still waiting for a glimmer of something new.

What I gleaned about the story: Meyer Dempsey has it all: fame, fortune, family. He’s so on top of his game that he’s even prepared for the collapse of civilization. Or rather, he would have been, in just two more days. Unfortunately, apocalypses don’t follow a schedule.

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Note at 10:00: So far it’s pretty clean. The story is relatable, the characters are annoying, but real and well written. And a delicate hook is being set. My only problem so far is that I haven’t met anybody I want to spend time with, but there are still 30 minutes to go.

Note at 20:00: I’d had the impression from previous talk about her that Piper was a bit of a mental lightweight, but her first few POV paragraphs show her to be an astute observer of human behavior. So is this a case of Show vs. Tell Mismatch or was the previous commentary filtered through a biased narrator? I’ll have to keep reading to find out.

Also, Piper is described as having a quirky sense of humor. But if Meyer had divorced his first wife because of her annoying sense of humor, it seems unlikely that he would then take up with another woman who had similar traits. I’d expect him to have been gun-shy of humorous women. But those are just questions I’m wondering about within the story world, not disruptions from it. Piper may be the only character I’ve met so far who makes me care enough to give a damn what happens.

Note at 30:00: I’m now in the POV of a fifteen-year-old boy who is describing how his school’s vice-principal behaved during a crisis: Hoover had been there too, shouting loudly enough that everyone decided to gift him with responsible authority.

That line feels entirely out of kilter for the headspace of a fifteen-year-old boy, but I haven’t seen enough of him yet to know if it’s a character break or just indicative of a really precocious kid.

Note at 40:00: Looks like we have a clean ride. Woohoo! The only problem I have with the story is that it feels rather same-old, same-old. The apocalypse is coming. Grab your bug-out kit and get out of town. Don’t take the highways. Cue the crazies and the slack-jawed townies who jam everybody’s mojo, slowing things down for the ones who are more methodical and prepared. Cue the teens who are all squabbling, too caught up in their own self-obsessions to notice the chaos. But while we have all those usual beats covered, and they’re well done, there’s nothing new yet. No unique instruments playing in this particular Disaster-In-Progress story’s orchestra. It could easily turn out that the differentiating elements simply haven’t appeared yet, so I’m going to keep reading. Who knows? Maybe those new notes are waiting to ring out once we get free of the city.

Wish me luck, I’m going back in.

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There Comes a Time, by J.J. Green (2:24)
Threw Lake and other short stories, by Les Bill Gates (3:15)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.