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AFTER

Blown Away

By G.S. Williams, author of No Man An Island

Jan 11, 2011: "After" has to have one of the best opening chapters I have read in ages. Written in first person present tense, it feels like events are happening with immediacy and tension. Meteors are striking a city, and everyone goes from surprise to panic in an utterly believable and moving sequence. The world we know is blown away, replaced by wreckage, ash and dust.

The narrator David sees the crisis around him and has but one concern, reaching Sharon, his beloved. He runs through screaming streets amidst burning wreckage, and it’s like being there or watching a fiery action movie on a handheld camera, jogging through the panicked mob. The immediacy and intensity of the narration is elegantly done, and I have to say I’m impressed.

The shock and crying and chaos all seem realistic, there’s none of the overdone heroic dialogue you’ll see in some fiction or films, where someone seems overly confident or competent, somehow born to rise to face danger. David’s one strength seems to be the perseverance to push on and run when danger comes, instead of becoming a lemming or turtling in. He has very realistic thoughts: hoping he doesn’t die, guiltily wishing someone else would come to harm before him in the insane silent bargaining of grief and crisis, fear about survival.

After the meteors stop falling, after the initial crisis is past, the real horror begins—surviving "After." I won’t give anything away, but you need to read this story. The writing is exceptionally clean and clear, with no unnecessary exposition or lazy telling—details, actions and emotions are shown with precision, so the terror feels real.

I read all seventeen available chapters in a single gulp and now I’m hungry for more. Come sit with me and read what happens next, let’s see what happens "After."

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