Short Stories by Michael Hodges

Title: Fletcher’s Mountains

Published: August 2013 in Perihelion Science Fiction

Genre: post-apocalyptic short story

Length: 10 pages

Setting: the mountains, some time in the future

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Gas prices skyrocketed, which lead to a collapse of the world’s economies. Cities are no longer safe, so Fletcher is heading to his friend’s cabin in the mountains through the snow and cold. Even though his friend isn’t at the cabin, Fletcher is expected.

Final thoughts: The main plot of the story is basically a walk through the woods, but you can get a surprising amount of story as someone is walking and reminiscing. Not everything is explained (there’s possibly someone following him, and we don’t know where his friend went or when), but it’s still a satisfying story. Fletcher’s friend had planned for the end of the world, and Fletcher was lucky to have somewhere to go.

Title comes from: Apparently, there really is a Fletcher Mountain in Colorado, but this refers to the fact that Fletcher is heading to the mountains for a safe place to be while the world comes to an end.

illustration by Lisa Grabenstetter

illustration by Lisa Grabenstetter

Title: Hydra

Published: November 2013 in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review

Genre: science fiction short fiction

Length: 4 pages

Setting: some time in the future

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: A Doctor has figured out how to extend human life. He realizes that extending human life will lead to the destruction of natural habitats and wildlife, but he wants to prevent people from feeling the pain of losing parents to old age.

Final thoughts: This was interesting, because you saw the conflict of should I save humanity and doom nature? Should he offset the pain of losing someone to age and disease with the loss of open spaces and wildlife? The peregrine falcon that shows up on this windowsill at the end was a bit overkill, though.

Title comes from: The gene to extend life was found in a hydra.

Dec12Cover-200Title: Seven Fish for Sarah

Published: December 2012 in Penumbra eMag

Genre: post-apocalyptic short story

Length: 5 pages

Setting: a mountain village, some time in the future

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: A new insecticide unexpectedly also shortened human life spans and lead to problems in reproduction. Most of the human population died off, but those who survived are back to living off the land. The narrator is head of a little village in the woods, catching trout for the weekly feast.

Final thoughts: Hodges seems to have a theme in his stories – we would be better off with fewer people on this earth. Our technology seems to be leading to more and more people, but we can’t trust it not to fail spectacularly. Once it fails, most of humanity is doomed, but if you can get out in the country, life may be good.

Title comes from: The narrator was collecting seven trout for his wife and to bring to the feast that night.

 

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