About this submission

“Dove Rust East” started as a riff on the classic image of a laser sight trained on an unsuspecting hero—what if a cat chased around the laser?—and evolved into an exploration of human-animal companionship in a robotic dystopia. EJ must feed her hungry cat in a post-apocalyptic urban wasteland surveilled by killbots. Examining love under conditions of dystopia enables greater access into human character and priorities. Faced with death, who are we, and what do we choose to do? How can we cultivate love and joy in extreme circumstances? Dystopian stories become frameworks to rethink our own values and actions.

Annika Schmidt

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