Fragments

"Fragments" accrued over an extended period of time. I wrote the first paragraph some time in the 1980s, in a moment of inspiration, then added the rest bit by bit. Since it's made up of, well, fragments, I didn't see this as a problem.

Celestial Debris It's not a particularly brilliant or original concept, the idea of post-apocalyptic children trying to make sense of what their elders tell them about pre-collapse civilization, but I liked it, and I think the story came out well. So did the editors at Interzone, I guess, because they bought it and ran it in the July 1992 issue.

Of course, it's hopelessly out of date now, with the references to videotapes and a '57 Chevy. For that matter, the near-future post-apocalyptic setting seemed much more plausible before the Soviet Union disappeared -- and the USSR was already gone by the time the story was published, so it's just as well I finished and sold it when I did.

Out of date or not, I included it in my short story collection Celestial Debris, available from fine booksellers everywhere. I also posted it online for International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day in 2008.

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