How The World Ends: a short story

  • Posted on: 6 February 2017
  • By: Noah Brand

“It’s called dermatillomania,” explains Gary’s agent. “There’s, like, support groups for it, I think. Point is, do what you need to do to keep from popping them. Let the makeup guys handle it.”

“No prob,” Gary says, but he can feel the zits on his face, their hot infected pressure. If he were a normal 15-year-old, it’d be normal acne, but his is worse because of all the makeup he has to wear for work.

A poem, with an introduction providing cultural context

  • Posted on: 3 December 2016
  • By: Noah Brand

Every sentient species is wiped out by its own evolutionary heritage. War, climate change, and resource depletion are the most common ways this happens, obviously. There are some interesting outliers, though, as in the case of a species called the Bolants. They avoided most of the common traps, being sociable enough to cooperate, clever enough to be careful, and individualistic enough not to all charge off the same cliff. Their doom was a single recessive gene and an unfortunate cultural position.