Sensing the Dust
My short story “Sensing the Dust” was published by Persistent Visions yesterday! This may sound like a well-worn trope, but this story genuinely has a special place in my heart. Please do read it over on Persistent Visions’ website. It’s up there for free so no excuses.
Firstly I hope you got it. When I took it to my beta readers, the Manchester Speculative Fiction Writing group, only 50% of them “got it”. For those of you who don’t know about my day job, I am a speech and language therapist working with children in the community. I have an interest in children with special needs, particularly those with autism, difficulties using verbal language and with sensory needs.
There’s a novel theory that perhaps people with autism, with sensory difficulties, are the ones truly with their eyes open, and the rest of us, the neurotypical lot, actually are blind to many of the wonders of the world. I found this idea intriguing, and it sparked off an idea about the apocalypse being something that we couldn’t all sense.
I also became obsessed with Kowloon Walled City after seeing some stunning dystopian artwork of it online. It’s gone now and there’s only a park in its place and yet something about it personifies Hong Kong to me. Yes, it was an illegal site but rather than a shanty town, they built multistorey buildings, with electricity and water, businesses and schools.
I think the Walled City will probably crop up again in future stories. As for Andrew, Wai-Long and Henry…I think they are still waiting for us to come back.