The World Breaks

This story sprung into my head—though exploded might be a better word—as I was flying home from a science-fiction convention. Cons act as catalysts for me, stirring up both my intellect and emotions, which in turn tends to spark multiple story ideas. But this con … nothing.

At least not until I was in midair and reached for a copy of Newsweek which had been left behind by a previous passenger. The cover story was on the Iraq War, and Maureen Dowd’s column included the quote from which the title of the story is taken.

As soon as I read that quote, the post-apocalyptic story was all there—the manner in which the tale is told, the narrative arc, the ending. Thank you, nameless passenger who left that magazine on the plane rather than tossing it. Without you, this story would have never happened.

Pete Crowther bought it for Postscripts #19, the October 2009 issue, the third story he’s published in that magazine.