If I can stay awake long enough, I’m bound to go mad.”
So begins my latest story – “Error 404” – in File Not Found, the latest anthology from Nat 1 Publishing. This anthology is filled with stories from across science-ficiton and fantasy, all taking a sideways glance at that familiar error message: File Not Found.
“Error 404” is the story of the newest member of a hive mind struggling to integrate with the greater collective. It was, honestly, a very emotional story for me to write. This last year a lot of my life and how I fit into it has changed, but this story comes from that moment before: the terror of losing yourself entirely to a life that is crushing your soul. That sounds overwrought, but I think many of us have been there. I was and I’m lucky I can write myself free.
I usually write horror, and while elements of this are terrible, it’s solidly science fiction, and solidly tragic. I was worried about writing in a new genre. Especially when you write genre fiction, people expect you to stay in your lane, but this story was personal and this was the best way I knew how to express it.
I hope you enjoy it, and even get lost in it.