The Grants Pass Anthology
Submission Deadline: 15 May 2005
Payment: Contributor copies if the anthology sells. I'm still working on that.
The below online journal entry was written in May of 2003 by a girl named Kayley. The protagonist of your story has either read it themselves or was told about the post in passing. During the month of June 2004, society as we know it in America collapsed. It took about three weeks longer for the rest of the world. During June 2004, the following things happened:
Mother Nature showed her nastier side all over the world with a series of natural disasters: In America, hurricanes on the East coast; Tornadoes and fierce storms in the mid-west; Earthquakes and storms on the West coast. Storms, volcano eruptions and earthquakes also happened elsewhere, all over the world.
During all that, the plagues came. Three of them. Rumor has it that these were part of biological terrorist acts that went out of control. The first one is an advanced form of SARS that breaks out in Austin, Texas; Paris, France and Tokyo, Japan. The second one is a fierce strain of Tuberculosis that breaks out in Sydney, Australia; Hollywood, California; parts of South Africa and South American. The third is a form of the super Flu which seems to break out in every capital city of every member of the United Nations. These disease take days to kill, sometimes a week. Almost no one survives them once infected. By the end of July 2004, 99.999% of the world's population is dead. [As a side note, that still leaves about 600,000 people alive.]
I am looking for stories that start no earlier than Jun 30, 2004 and involve dealing with the apocalypse and the thought of a possible haven in Grants Pass, Oregon. Your stories do not have to travel there but, the idea of Grants Pass and the journal entry should be one of the plot points. Please note, this is not a supernatural thriller. The end does not come because of nuclear war. There are no special powers, no mutations or the like.
1. All stories are to be no more than 5000 words long. If your story is longer than 5000 words, please send a query and we can discuss it.
2. Send submissions to email@example.com with the subject of GRANTS PASS: [Title Name].
3. All submissions are to be sent in plain text in the body of the email. Emails with attachments will be deleted without being read. If you have formatting, use standard plain text formatting techniques.
4. All submissions are for first time North American publication rights - "first time North American publication rights" to a publisher are for a first-time use of a text. This means that all other rights--e.g. foreign language rights, publishing in markets outside North America, reprints (albeit with giving credit to the first publication)--revert to the author.
This post is semi-in-cheek and semi-not. Occasionally, it amuses me to think about these things. The short version of the my thought is: When the end of the world comes, meet me in Grants Pass, Oregon.
I'm not saying that end of the world is coming. I don't know if it will happen in my lifetime or if at all. But, as a writer, I often ask "What if..." What if something like Skippy the Super flu virus happens? What if something like "The Day After Tomorrow" happens? What if we are invaded or World War III happens? Better yet, what if, for some reason, the government and known society collapses due to a great loss of life and/or immense structural damage ... and I survive it? Then what?
Well, my plan, as of now, is to meet Monte in Grants Pass. Why Grants Pass? Because I have dreamt of this several times. In my dreams, I've always ended up in Grants Pass and that's good enough for me. Why Monte? Because he is a good friend who indulges my whims when I present him with such mental exercises. Also, because he has become one of my dream symbols representing Survival. Just like the few times I have dreamt of Ice, he has represented Leadership and Yony has represented Desire.
Recently, I mentioned this to Ice and invited him to meet us. If anyone is going to survive the end of the world, it would be him. Then, James jumped in and said it sounded like a plan and he would meet us there, hauling fuel. Suddenly, it occurred to me that maybe I should just let others in on this plan. Obviously, not everyone who reads this would survive an apocalypse. Maybe I would not survive it. My want for immortality says I would but that's just me. In any case, if the apocalypse comes, meet us in Grants Pass. Think about what you would bring. Think about coming to be part of a surviving band of people from all walks of life.
Sure, this is a silly mental exercise but there is no harm in thinking about it. How would I get there? Would I go by car, more secure and sheltered but braving the ruined roads? Motorcycle for the maneuverability? Bicycle for the lack of dependence on fuel and ability to easily bypass obstacles but more exposure and slower travel time? What would I bring with me? Fuel? Food? Water? Weapons? Probably all of the above. I think REI would be the first place I would raid.
I think, I would try to get in contact with certain people by cell phone and by IM as long as electricity lasted. Mostly to see if they were still alive and coming. Of course, if the end of the world is like "The Stand" and Mother Abigail is saying we should come to Colorado, well, I guess Grants Pass would be the meeting and staging point for it. It is better to travel in groups, I think. Especially if you have both human and animal predators out there.
You can't tell me that some survivor (probably male) wouldn't get it in their head to become some sort of warlord and try to take over their own little bit of land. You know it would happen. Personally, I'd rather band together with people I already know than some random tough guy who has figured out how to rule through strength and fear. Though, not that all warlords are bad. Generally, things go better when there is a clear leader in a group. Someone with the ability to make decisions in a minimum amount of time. But, it is how they come to these decisions and how they enforce them that makes a difference in the leadership of a group.
Still, coming up with a way to protect and feed a group of people during and after some sort of apocalypse brings to mind some interesting ideas. Some of it goes back to my parents' lessons on wants versus needs. Needs would be paramount - food, shelter, protection. Wants would have to be indulged when it was possible and safe to do so. But, one person's need could be another person's want. It can be very subjective. That's where we come back to the importance of leadership. Someone must be the parent and the bad guy for your own good.
Now, I'm randomly babbling. In a time of crisis, having a plan can make the difference between life and death. If an apocalypse comes and you survive, think of me then head to Grants Pass. Who knows who else might read and remember this. My whimsy could turn out to be very practical.