by John Dermot Woods
Published as part of Futures: Science Fiction Series
Schulz is an instructor of Wind Tuning at the City Academy, and the man who engineered the greatest work of his field: a Windwall that protects his island city from the increasingly volatile climate of the world around it. When he detects a draft crossing his campus and clouds appearing in the permanently clear sky, he suspects that his invention may be failing.
Stacey Graham, his most difficult student, confirms his suspicions, and Schulz is forced to consider taking action. But is he more concerned with complete environmental disaster, or with losing his cushy post at the Academy and being forced back into active work in his field?
Always Blue is a work of literary science fiction that explores how our day-to-day struggles and inconveniences—irritating colleagues, entitled students, aloof administrators, uninspired lunch choices—can make it impossible to see the real threats to our world.
“John Dermot Woods’ eye discerns detail the rest of the world is blind to; his ear picks up frequencies that most of us can’t hear. His deep reverence for and attention to the precise moment, exactingly rendered, comes through in both his language and his drawings. I always feel slightly spellbound when I encounter Woods’s work, like I’m somewhere both entirely familiar and entirely new. Part campus tale, part speculative fiction, Always Blue is funny and harrowing, a sustained, memorable glimpse into an ego—and a society—on the brink." —Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest
“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice, but Woods understands it’s more likely to end in endless departmental meetings and endlessly-calibrated politeness. Always Blue is a cool-headed look at the future that none of us want but that we may well deserve. A subtle and satirical tale underlaid with an all-too-real grimness.” —Brian Evenson, author of The Open Curtain
John Dermot Woods is a Brooklyn-based writer and cartoonist. His previous works include The Baltimore Atrocities (Coffee House Press, 2014) and Activities (Publishing Genius Press, 2013). John’s work is known for its poetic verse and deep explorations of character. Always Blue is his first work of science fiction.