March was another busy writing month for me, seeing the release of another of my stories, The Wall Is Beautiful, as an e-book through Nomadic Delirium Press. The Wall Is Beautiful is the second story in Nomadic Delirium’s Divided States of America series, which explores life after the collapse of the USA. My installment is set in Texas, mostly along the Texas—Mexico border, and imagines a new Texan republic surrounded by a massive, eighty-foot-tall concrete wall.
Here is the blurb for the e-book:
Border patrol agent Rick Moreno is one of the few Mexican-Americans left in the heavily fortified nation of Texas, a token non-Anglo paid to catch immigrants tunneling under the great country’s defenses. He faces bigotry and loathing on a daily basis, not least from his patrol partner, Mitch. As Rick’s frustration and anger intensifies, he is shocked to discover Texas’s famed border wall is no longer keeping the outside world at bay. But the thing that has blundered into the borderlands is more disturbing than anything Rick has seen before. He and Mitch must find a way to deal with the intruder and the future it represents, before that future deals with them.
When I came to the US as an immigrant in 2006, Texas was the state I lived in. I stayed there for roughly eight years, before relocating to Iowa. Many of the thoughts and feelings I experienced during those eight years bubbled to the surface during the writing of this story.
I think it’s safe to say I don’t like the idea of walls between nations. The thought that the current administration of the US seems determined to build one now makes me sick to my stomach. Walls can keep out some things, but they can’t keep out ideas and they can’t keep out the future.
When the editor at Nomadic Delirium responded to my story submission, his acceptance email began with a one-word sentence: “Wow.” I hope this story elicits the same reaction from you.
I was a student at university when the Berlin Wall fell. People across the world celebrated that event, regardless of political doctrine. Now I’m in my mid-forties, I find myself in a world where some of those same people think building a new wall is a good idea. This fills me with sadness.
I hope we all live long enough to see a day when walls are again torn down.
Further details, including the usual behind-the-scenes section, can be found here on the page dedicated to this story.