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A Reader in a Pandemic

Science fiction has been my preferred genre since my mother gave me books by Jules Verne and Ray Bradbury as a young child.

I read Journey to the Center of the Earth when I was ten, and spent hours practicing the words Professor Lindenbrock's tongue couldn't handle. I wondered why they neither Lindenbrock nor Axel took any interest in the giants and became convinced that, had they taken Gräuben with them, she would have pursued linguistic and anthropological research on the subterranean group. But I digress...

As a science fiction fan, I have felt (psychologically) prepared for apocalyptic scenarios. Right now, we are in the depths of one such scenario but I find myself as unable to cope as everyone else, although perhaps for different reasons.

As I walk Darcy, the dog, in the lonely streets, the eerie quietness causes me to flinch at any slight sign of movement. Surrounded by silence, breeze sifting through my hair, I cannot help but wonder what happened. This is not what I was promised, what fiction repeatedly insisted would finally happen. The apocalypse is anticlimactic: no zombies, no aliens, no surveillance, not even the smell of new paint and a long line of freshly shaved men at the barber's shop.

Not as promised.

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