GR Cleanup Originally Read in 2010
Spike is a 20 something violent paranoid schizophrenic who was locked away when she forgot to take her meds and went a little crazy with a knife on a homeless man. Her life consists of living in a medication muted haze surrounded by other various levels of disturbed folks. Recently her predictable world has been interrupted with an increased number of inmates and the place is getting terribly crowded. One day things are ominously quiet, her favorite nurse never arrives with her meals or meds and she ventures out to find blood smeared walls and to discover that the world has indeed gone crazy. She stockpiles her drugs to retain her sanity and fears she may be the only one immune to the “dream” epidemic.
This is a unique take on the apocalypse. People are dreaming when they’re awake and doing terrible things and you don’t have your typical cast of heroes. Spike is mentally unstable without her drugs, with them she’s a bit off kilter but not as dangerous. She hooks up with a hunk suffering from the dream sickness but she likes him because he has sweet dreams and he seems to like her too, even during his few moments of lucidity so she takes care of him. Danger looms, however, when Spike has a run-in with a band of baddies (and there’s always a group of baddies in a book like this) who are using people as slaves and/or breeders to continue on their quest to rule the new planet.
This was a well written little story that held my attention all the way through. It wasn’t overly gory, just purely entertaining mainly because of Spike’s observations. Sure, there were unanswered questions, and I’d love to read an expanded version of this story someday, but I enjoyed it for the tightly written little novella that it was.