When I started writing I wanted the best tools. I skipped right over chisels on rocks, stylus on wet clay plates, quills and fountain pens, even mechanical pencils, and went straight to one of the first popular spin-offs of the aerospace program: the ballpoint pen. They were developed for comber navigators in the war because fountain pens would squirt all over your leather bomber jacket at altitude. (I have a cherished example of the next generation ballpoint, a pressurized Space Pen cleverly designed to work in weightlessness, given to me by Spider Robinson. At least, I cherish it when I can find it. It is also cleverly designed to seek out the lowest point of your desk, roll off, then find the lowest point on the floor, under a heavy piece of furniture. That's because it is cylindrical and lacks a pocket clip to keep it from rolling. In space, I presume it would float out of your pocket and find a forgotten corner of your spacecraft to hide in. NASA spent million developing it. Good job, guys. I'm sure it's around here somewhere.)
We all love after-the-bomb stories. If we didn't, why would there be so many of them? There's something attractive about all those people being gone, about wandering in a depopulated world, scrounging cans of Campbell's pork and beans, defending one's family from marauders. But some secret part of us thinks it would be good to survive. All those other folks will die. That's what after-the-bomb stories are all about.
He couldn't think of a good place. At first he thought she hated all living beings equally. Lately he had come to believe he held a special place in her heart, just below rattlesnakes, pederasts, and spirochetes. Definitely a tough place to start from, but determination had always been Conal's strong point.