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MirrorMask (children's edition)
Neil Gaiman
The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories, Volume One: Where on Earth
Ursula K. Le Guin
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Maud Hart Lovelace
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Oscar Wilde, Camille Cauti
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Marge Simon

The Resurrected: Part Six

The Resurrected: Part Six - Megan Hart Part Six offers a solid continuation of "The Resurrected" series, with Hart once again picking up Kelsey's story. We meet Dennis - the ultimate survivalist trained from childhood by his spooky, conspiracist mother - and realize how similar he and Kelsey really are. Their conversation about Dennis' more-than-thorough job of stocking up on food and supplies at an abandoned Costclub is revealing:

KELSEY: "When you said you were stocking up, you weren't kidding."
DENNIS: "Got to take it all, as much as I can. Don't want to come back here if I don't have to. ... People who are alive, ... [t]hey'll be wanting this stuff, and when people want stuff, they'll do just about anything to get it."
KELSEY: "Not much for sharing?"
DENNIS: "It's not that. Just trying to survive, that's all."
KELSEY: "Me too."

But for Hart, it's not just about surviving the mayhem brought on by the storms. It's about surviving everyday life. Survival began for Kelsey and Dennis well before faces started exploding. Kelsey survived "Granny Dearest", a mental and physical abuser if there ever was one. Dennis scrambled away from an overbearing, psychotic mother. Not surprisingly, both struggle establishing close relationships, but they've managed to stay in the game and get what they need through various means - staying distant from others, changing a name, "securing all the entrances", having plastic surgery, stockpiling guns and ammunition, giving sexual favors, and on. Today's world may frown on their means of survival, but in the story, it's us who are dying alongside our moral systems, and they who are not necessarily thriving, but making due. Out of their brokenness comes resilience.

I've heard it said that out of suffering comes great artistic beauty. Maybe so. But out of suffering can also come the uncanny ability to avoid having your face bitten off. A humbler notion of beauty, but all that Kelsey and Dennis really need at this point. In a zombie apocalypse, I'd take their standard of beauty in a heartbeat.

I'm enjoying "The Resurrected" very much. On to Part Seven.