East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Running out of time

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Both literally and metaphorically, that is.
And both globally and personally, in more than one way: I have a ton of things to do, time is running out on a number of deadlines, and one of these is for a 4000-words story about… time running out, for all of us.
Looks like my writing life’s become terribly meta, and all that.
And it gets better (well, sort of)

I have one week to write a short story about the death of our planet (or any planet, really, but I think I’ll focus on this one, for sentimental reasons).
As luck would have it, at the same time a review came out about the book about apocalypse cinema that features my piece about ecological catastrophes in the movies. A very nice review, and it gave me the idea I could expand my essay into a proper book, looking at ecological end-of-the-world scenarios in films, from Lumiere to … next week’s blockbuster.
Right now I can’t make it, but who knows, in the long cold nights of the coming winter, if I’ll still have a home…

At the same time, I have been watching, during lunch break, the BBC/HBO series Years & Years, one of the most heart-wrenching SF series ever, a thing that makes Black Mirror look like a walk in the park, and the old The Day After like a Carry On movie.
Go and talk about a kick in the gut – I have to watch half an episode at the time, while I take a bite, not because of time, but because it’s so damn scary and dark and … scary, really. You should watch it.
But it’s another piece falling in place.

In the meantime I am working on a big translation project and on a story I should have delivered yesterday.
Time is running out.
On the plus side, I have at this point learned to juggle various jobs (I hate the word “multitask”) while keeping a good level of quality in my output. On the minus side, it’s pretty tiring.
Thank goodness the heat let up and now we can take a breather without the fan perpetually buzzing in the background.

But I will make it.
After all, that’s the only game in town.
And it will be good to write a story about the end of all I love, because that’s something I need to get out of my system, before I gear up and move on to something (hopefully) better.
Because that’s the tricky bit – I’m going to write a 4000-words story about the end of the world, and I plan to write an optimistic story.
It’s the only way I can do it.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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