After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
2012 Locus Award Winner
2013 Hugo Nominee
2013 Sturgeon Award Nominee
In the year 2035, all that is left of humanity lives in the Shell.
No one knows why the Tesslies attacked in 2014, devastated the environment, and nearly destroyed humanity. Or why the aliens imprisoned twenty-six survivors in a sterile enclosure built on the barren remains of the Earth.
Fifteen-year-old Pete, one of only six children born in the Shell, is determined to lead humanity to a new beginning. But Pete struggles to control his anger as, one by one, the survivors sicken and die. Although the Earth appears to be slowly healing, the Shell’s inhabitants may not live long enough to see it. The only chance for humanity lies within brief time portals. Peter and the survivors hatch a desperate plan: to increase their numbers by abducting children from the past.
In the year 2013, a brilliant CIA consultant sees a pattern in seemingly unrelated kidnappings. As Julie Kahn’s predictive algorithms reveal that the world is in imminent danger, she discovers that she may also play a role in its possible rebirth. Julie and Pete are rapidly converging in time—a chance encounter between them may be the Earth’s only hope.
the end of the hallway, a bonanza. Two of them. Four minutes. The baby lay on its back, eyes closed in its bald head, little pink mouth sucking away on dreams. It had thrown off its blanket to expose a band of impossibly smooth skin between the plastic diaper and tiny shirt. Pete took precious seconds to unfasten 6 After the Fall.indb 6 3/12/2012 12:25:09 PM after the fall, before the fall, during the fall a corner of the diaper, but he was already in love with the little hairless creature
corridor across from the Grab room, was yet another featureless white-metal room. There was absolutely nothing in it except the outline of the slot on the far wall, close to the floor, and the button set high on the opposite wall, by the door. Caity, Eduardo, Terrell, McAllister, Darlene, Ravi, and Pete attended the funeral. Also Tommy, now that he was nearly eight. Jenna and Paolo stayed with the Grab children. It was Tommy’s first funeral and he held tight to McAllister’s hand, although to Pete
imagined still existed. It was blue water like on the beach where he had Grabbed Petra and Kara, water like Before! He started to run down the hill, across the black rock toward the water. Pebbles and scrub crunched under his bare feet. Then something stopped him. At first he thought it was the hard-to-breathe air slowing him down, but this was more like someone had grabbed his arm from behind without him even feeling it. He turned, and there stood a Tesslie. McAllister had described the alien
never brightened again so soon after a Grab—never! McAllister said, in a voice somehow not her own, “Go.” She handed Pete the wrister that Ravi had turned over to her. Pete hopped onto the platform, the laughter from the corridor still ringing in his ears. 126 After the Fall.indb 126 3/12/2012 12:25:13 PM June 2014 Julie to read the papers obsessively: “star“overpopulation biggest threat to planet.” But nothing more was mentioned about the mutated bacteria, not anywhere in the world. Nor
open. The screen door, with a metal screen so old and soft that it felt like cloth under his hands, was unlocked. Pete slipped into a tiny hallway, cool after the bright sun outside. He could see clear through to the back of the house, which was all glass with yet another view of the sea. All the rooms were small, to fit the house on the narrow point. To his left was a kitchen, to the right a steep staircase. Pete climbed it. Two little bedrooms, both with slanted walls and windows set into