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Hello everyone! Thank you for checking out The Talkers are Talking. This story has been in the works for over 8 years and made it to 13th place in the first Nerdist competition. Since then, it has expanded into a trilogy, and I am working out the details regarding publication. I try to only send updates when I have relevant information and am currently (5/22) working on the final draft of Book 1. I appreciate and look forward to all comments, critiques, and suggestions!


Global Warming is not only real, but it’s brought with it a new horror even the scientists couldn’t see coming. At 84.7°F, the air becomes poison. And when a person is exposed to such temps, their brain becomes diseased. The few who haven’t been infected have escaped to the cooler temperatures of the sewers and tunnels below ground.


Olivia and her rag-tag group of semi-misfits desperately seek the rumored "Atlantis," a haven built by a paranoid hedgefund billionaire.

Sergeant 0307 will do anything to ensure the safety of that Haven.

And those in charge will do even more to make sure the inhabitants of The Haven are able to survive in this new world.

As if avoiding the hot air wasn’t already task enough, all of the infected have become fevered, but still rational-thinking cannibals.


Talker’s story came from a dream, and some of the themes and shape it has taken are inspired by Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and the long-forgotten Goff’s Echoes from the Firing Lines, but the insides and bones of the story draw on poetry from writers less present in the typical canon. The story is written partially from the perspective of an autistic woman and is an #ownvoices narrative.

I have always been fascinated with cannibalism and the legends, stories, and myths that surround the practice throughout cultures around the world. One such idea, the wendigo (from Algonquian folklore- when you eat the flesh of another human, you not only gain their strength, but their soul) has been incorporated, with a few twists, to represent larger themes we face in our cell phone packing, Trump twittering, globalized society. The very usage mirrors the questions surrounding appropriation (or cultural misappropriation) and attempts to celebrate and highlight without stealing or leeching. Any meaningful feedback/dialogue on the topic is greatly appreciated.

Whitman drew on the history of Long Island, the small, (and in this story) isolated setting where our characters are trapped, and tried to capture some of its being in his poem "Paumanok," which is the Native American name for Long Island. I am trying to do something of the same, while examining colonization and imagining its future in a world where climate change is still denied.

Enjoy and thanks for your support!


Janna reads when she brushes her teeth and writes in her sleep. She is the editor of Lamplit Underground (Lamplitunderground.com) and the head of the Break the Bechdel with Strong Female Characters Syndicate. Janna is a professor/freelance writer by day, beer geek by night and writer in between. She loves the dark in lamplight, folklore and travel and beat everyone at arm wrestling in second grade. Janna has lived all over the world with longer stints in Boston, Brooklyn, and England, and once drove from Germany to Bulgaria. She teaches English at various universities, including SUNY schools and was most recently an instructor at Rutgers University.


Annika and Ben Faircloth at Trust Fun Art & Graphics (They’re amazing) http://www.trustfundart.co.uk/