David A. Gray’s story “Hishi” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 23 February 2018. Metaphorosis

“Hishi” came from a bunch of directions at once. I was worrying about my daughter and the world I’m raising her in, where rich old white men seem intent on burning it all down and ensuring she has no rights. And where we as a species seem to be sending our kids to war, or to bomb and kill. So I had in mind a character who had all her life ahead, all her potential, but was choked by the actions of these old men. But who would triumph, in the end. Kind of. The world – Scour – was inspired a little by those old stories where we know society is the ruins of an older civilization, a tiny bit by railway tracks (a minor obsession), and a lot by a wish to take an extreme situation and imagine how we’d be after 10,000 years of forced evolution. The things we would do if we had to, then because we could. Also, I’m an avid student of Ottoman history, and of the Crusades, and Europe’s Hundred Years War. Imagine, for a moment Constantinople on wheels.

“Hishi” was – and is – a standalone story, but in the process of editing, I realized this is her first chapter as a person in a strange world. I know where she goes next, even if I don’t ever write it.


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