My family lived in Christchurch. Every summer we'd make the trip up to Marahau, a camp at the entrance of the Abel Tasman National Park.
Far more eloquent people than I have written about the eyes of youth. All I know is the summers lasted forever, the sky was bigger than God and the air was so rich with energy I'm still running on it now. To walk barefoot on a burning road, then to sink your toes into the sand at the edge of the bluest sea - I can't see how Heaven can be any better than being thirteen years old in 1985.
I wanted to write a story that celebrated everything I loved about the Eighties. Not the reality: the dirt and the politics and the poverty of it. But about all that music, all those movies, all that television I soaked up. And that unending sun. Live Aid and 12" Singles and Rocky 4 and Apple IIs and riding away on a luck dragon after saving the princess.
So, this week at Strange Horizons: Young Love on the Run from the Federal Alien Administration New Mexico Division (1984). Think of it as E.T., as directed by John Hughes. Hope you like it.
Huge thanks to Karen Meisner, whose amazing editing skills hit me like an after school special. Karen helped to solve problems that had stumped me worse than a Rubik's Cube. And I couldn't even peel the stickers off.
And I don't suppose they'll ever read this, but I also need to thank Curt Smith and Roland Orzabal. This story would not exist without them.
Postscript: The same week my story appears at Strange Horizons, they run a review of My Little Pony. Not only is this entirely appropriate for an Eighties story, but I don't think there's anything I can ever do to impress my daughters more than appearing on a website with Pinkie Pie.