In the second issue of Into the Ruins, we continue to explore the emerging sub-genre of deindustrial science fiction. John Michael Greer debuts a new column on the sub-genre while five new and compelling stories weave future scenarios devoid of spaceships and interstellar space travel and instead focus on a future defined by natural limits, energy and resource depletion, industrial decline, climate change, and other consequences stemming from the reckless and shortsighted exploitation of our planet—and the ways humans will adapt, survive, live, die, and thrive within such a future.
These stories show a wide variety of possible futures for humanity, from a distant civilization that cycles through the same ebb and flow of peace and warfare we find littered throughout human history, to a melancholic meditation on our fast-changing world set in 2020 that feels eerily familiar to today; from a love story set in a less energy-intensive time, to a haunting encampment at the edge of dry and dusty ruins; and on again to an adventurous and amusing attempt to deliver a key new manuscript on the herbal treatment of spinal meningitis to a distant library. These stories inspire a wide range of emotions, from meditative reflection on the predicament of our times to delight at unexpected adventure—all while offering readers fascinating tales utterly different than what science fiction normally provides.
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