Friday, July 20, 2012

Any Day Now by Terry Bisson (The Overlook Press 2012)

"Something's coming," said Annie.

It was Rimshot's pink Caddy, slipping and sliding through the light new snow, with a smiling Dane at the wheel.

It was Merry, with a New York Times.

It was spring in the south of the planet. Robben Island, South Africa's Devil's Island, had been attacked at dawn by masked commandos in speedboats: three sleek twenty-seven foot "cigarettes," approaching from both the north and west. Whispering in French and shouting in Russian, the commandos had overpowered the guards and loaded all the prisoners onto a waiting submarine while two Tupolev Badgers circled at a thousand meters, providing unnecessary air cover.

One Boer and one Coloured guard played hero. Both were killed in the ensuing gun battle on the stony west beach; one Cuban "adviser" and two Congolese commandos were wounded, and one speedboat was disabled. When it was IDed as a Baikal the South African government had issued a formal complaint to the United Nations, backed by Israel and the US.

Meanwhile Nelson Mandela and several of his comrades were welcomed in Kinshasa by the Congolese president, Patrice Lumumba.

"There's your new world, said Lowell. "The Russians are Bolsheviks again. Since the coup."

"Of course they deny they are even involved," said Merry.

"Of course," said Lowell. "Everyone always denies they are involved in everything."

"You both oughta know," said Dove, glaring down at Lowell and Merry.

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