cover image Lockdown: Stories of Crime, Terror, and Hope During a Pandemic

Lockdown: Stories of Crime, Terror, and Hope During a Pandemic

Edited by Nick Kolakowski and Steve Weddle. Polis, $17.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-951709-17-4

Twenty authors provide creative responses to setting a story during a pandemic in what is likely to be but the first such anthology. In Rob Hart’s “No Honor Among Thieves,” a convincing portrayal of a largely deserted Manhattan, his lead, Roger, ventures downtown to recover a valuable file folder from his office. The real danger, however, begins after Roger’s made it safely back home to Westchester. Also notable is V. Castro’s “Asylum,” about a future in which Mexico seals its border against Americans desperate to escape a disease ravaging their own country. The standout is Scott Adlerberg’s “The Rescue,” in which a teleworking city employee, sentimentally attached to a plant his wife gave him that he’d left behind in the rush to shelter in place, tries to retrieve it from his office. The painfully rigid bureaucratic response he encounters forces him to extreme measures. Other contributors venture into the supernatural in tales featuring ghosts and werewolves. Though readers will be hard-pressed to find the hope promised in the subtitle, those interested in grim fiction based on today’s realities will find a variety of imaginative approaches. (June)