Shore Leave is the non-Trek culture arm of the Deep Space Spines website, posted every other Tuesday and made possible by donations to the site’s Patreon.
This fortnight’s big non-Trek read was Severance by Ling Ma, which infuses the apocalypse with a significant helping of millennial weltschmerz. In an alternate-continuity 2011, a dangerous fungal infection makes its way across the continents, causing nearly the entire world’s population to fall ill. The infected victims, known as the “fevered”, seem to perform mundane tasks over and over. Candace Chen, a young woman who works for a print supplier arranging printings of specialty Bibles, never becomes fevered, and just kind of hangs out in New York City continuing her routine until doing so becomes entirely untenable. I’ll grant this is a pretty reductive take, but it’s kind of like The Road, except if that book had gradually turned into The Handmaid’s Tale, and also had a lot to say about capitalism.