Short Take: “Ark,” Veronica Roth

Pros: Elegant and beautiful
Cons:
Rating: 5 out of 5

Veronica Roth’s short novella Ark (Forward collection) is not about an apocalypse created by man. Instead, an asteroid is on course to hit the Earth. There are years in which to prepare–decades, really–and the Earth is being evacuated. A handful of scientists remain until the last minute, preparing as many flora and fauna genetic samples for transport as possible. Two last ships wait to transport these people and their cargo. Samantha, a horticulturist, doesn’t plan to go with the ships–she plans to watch the world burn. Over her last two months in Svalbard, located north of the Arctic Circle, she spends more and more time with Dr. Nils Hagen, who studies his orchids and also plans to remain on Earth.

This is a lovely little story about the end of the world and how different people choose to handle it. Averill, Dan, and Josh, who all work with Sam, smoke joints and pick out records to take with them. Samantha prepares a small boat with a few days’ worth of supplies. Nils takes care of his precious orchids. The real meat of the story is in Sam’s head, so I can’t say much more about it. It suffices to say that this is a lovely little story, and that as long as you aren’t looking for an action-based story you’ll probably love it.

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