by A-M Mawhiney
Publication date: November 24th 2021
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Racism, climate change, and violence are in the past. The new world values respect and collaboration with others. But are there secrets lurking in the shadows of the Land of Hope? What truth about the past is being covered up?
When fifteen-year-old Fania returns from Immersion, she is shattered to learn that the next phase of her education is at home with Alicia, her granny. She had hoped for something far grander that would prepare her for an important role with the Earth Project. Their two strong personalities clash as Fania begins to learn more about the past and her family’s role in it.
As Fania grows in confidence and power, she starts to wonder exactly what secrets Alicia is keeping in her underground lab. After Fania discovers the truth, she finds her calling: one that has the power to change everything.
Fania’s Journal: An excerpt from Spindrifts by A-M Mawhiney © 2021
I’m supposed to write in my journal every day. Sure. Like that’s the best use of my time. They said it’d be a private place to think, but I’ve wondered about that. I can think in my head without writing my thoughts. Just in case, I always use my disconnected tablet for the real journal, encrypted with three protective codes and in a language I developed myself. I know this might be over the top, but I’ve felt better knowing no one can read my actual journal. So, people can read how excited I am about my apprenticeship, but privately I’m totally dissed. I really want to learn about people From Away, and instead I’m apprenticing with Granny, my great-grandmother, who’s spent most of her life close to home in her research laboratory, two miles down an ancient mine shaft. It used to be where they studied mysteries of the universe! How the heck did that work?
I’ve always loved Granny. I’ve felt as though we’ve had a special relationship, and I’ve missed spending time with her. I just never thought they’d give me a responsibility so far removed from what I really want to be doing.
Ezma told me I’ve many skills and a strong aptitude for analytical thinking. I know what that means. It means sitting in an underground lab every day for the rest of my life. I guess I wasn’t very good at hiding my feelings because Ezma felt she had to remind me what Granny does is very important. Then she asked me a curious question.
“Do you know what she does?”
Well, of course I do! I explained, “Granny is the researcher who found the serum. She said it was a fluke.”
That comment made Ezma laugh, hysterically almost. “Well, Fania, you’ll find there’s a lot you can learn from Alicia. I hope you’ll keep an open mind.”
When I boarded the transport to head home after two years at Immersion, my patch reminded me to change my timer back to the village’s schedule. The health patch is a misnomer; it’s actually an up-to-date example of bio-merged nanotechnology. This latest gen’s so far advanced compared to the primitive models my grandparents used when they were young—those things they wore on their wrists. Now the healer implants the technology at birth where it merges with our brainwaves. It has reciprocal transformational capabilities, but I’ve been told there are limitations so it can’t change the basic personality or natural abilities of anyone. The patch transmits and receives communications, monitors personal health data, and provides all my reading materials. Everyone in our territory has them, so far as I know.
A-M Mawhiney was deeply moved by the events of 2020 and the cries from advocates fighting for equity and justice for people living precarious lives because of structural barriers and discrimination. As a former social worker and academic she has spent her career seeking ways to improve lives of marginalized learners through inclusive education for all students. Mawhiney has hope for a better future for us all. Her vision of what this might look like inspired her to write Spindrifts.
Anne-Marie lives in Sudbury, Ontario, in the territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek in the Robinson-Huron Treaty Area, with Dave McGill and their canine companion, Charlie.
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