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It Brought Us All Together

Author: Marissa Lingen

Published in Strange Horizons, 13 July 2015

Description, from Lois Tilton [Locus]: "This must be considered YA, as it takes place in the obligatory setting of an American high school. The narrator, Andrea, is pretty level-headed, albeit with a slight case of denial, insisting to herself that she really is quite all right and not devastated by the deaths of her parents from one of the many mycological plagues. This is mainly to avoid the obsessive and stifling over concern that plagues the high school. She is aware that she will actually become quite all right once she escapes that place, but in the meantime she’s adopted a set of emotional survival protocols:     

Minimize contact. Keep everything friendly, but arm’s length. Never do a group project with the same person twice unless the teacher assigns it. Always accept social media connections at the shallowest level, but never let it go deeper. At lunch, sit with the same people each week but different people each day, so you’re not the weird loner, but you’re still not someone who gets asked personal questions.

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