Today is the 58th anniversary of the first Atom Bomb test in New Mexico. At the time the US had made enough fissionable material for three bombs: the test one, and two to drop on Japan.
When I was a teenager I had a friend whose father worked on the project in the utmost secrecy. The scientists--mostly very young--brought their wives and children to a Los Alamos, a small town that officially didn't exist. They couldn't say what they working on, but my friend's father told his wife on July night in 1945 to take the kids in the car and drive on this heading and that heading so they could witness a world-changing event.
I don't know if she did, but the story haunted me for years. It became the jumping off point for my first book of short stories Finding the Enemy, published by Oberon Press in 1997. You'll find it below to mark this sad occasion. The "enemy" in question in the title comes from the comic strip Pogo who famously said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." (If the story doesn't display properly, click on each page for an enlargement.)
The book is still available from Oberon, I think, and I have a lot of copies in my basement, should anyone want to buy one.
And Oberon, I'm glad to report, will be publishing my new book of short stories Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography this fall.
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About the reviewer
Mary Soderstrom is a Montreal-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her new collection of short stories, Desire Lines: Stories of Love and Geography, will be published by Oberon Press in November, … more