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Tall Tales about Today My Great-great-granddaughter Will Tell

Sean Williams lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of over forty award-winning novels for readers of all ages, some set in the Star Wars universe, some written with his friend Garth Nix. The latest is Crashland, book two of the Twinmaker series.
Once upon a time, people used to fly about in Air-O-Planes. One day the people driving the Air-O-Plane fell asleep, and it crashed into a mountain. Everyone died.
When my great-great-grandma was young, people worked in places called "factories." They built things with their hands. But their hands were always getting caught in the machines and the machines were dirty and stupid and made everyone sick. Lots of people died. It was sad.
There was dirt everywhere. It piled up in huge mountains the Air-O-Planes crashed into. The rubbish fell into the ocean and made fish die. Birds would eat plastic and die, too. Great-great-grandpa cried when the whales went right down deep and never came back up.
Great-great-grandma had a car that was made by people's hands. It had a fire inside it that turned the wheels. The fire came from a tank she kept under the back seat. It was a kind of bomb. That's what Great-great-grandma calls it: an old bomb. She drove around for years with that old bomb before she gave the car to someone else. The other lady swapped her pieces of paper for it. The pieces of paper had numbers on them. They were called money. They didn't blow up, like cars sometimes did, so great-great-grandma got a good deal.
I saw money once, in a museum.
Cars took people to the factories. The fire in the cars made lots of smoke, and the smoke going up made the sky heavy. The heavy sky made everything so hot underneath that the Air-O-Planes couldn't fly. More birds died. More people were sad. When the heat made all the ice melt, there was too much water everywhere. The fire in the cars went out. Some of the sad people got angry.
Great-great-grandma was angry at her parents. They shouldn't have built so many factories and cars, she says. Great-great-grandpa was angry too. He dreamed of getting rid of all the old bombs. He wanted the rubbish to go away and the whales to come back.
It's sad he didn't live long enough to see the sky get light again. He would've liked our new machines. They're much smarter than the old ones. Great-great-grandma says he died in the War, but I don't know what that is.
I'd like to fly in an Air-O-Plane, as long as it doesn't crash.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, March 9th, 2015


This story is one of over forty connected to the world of my current series, in one way or another. Many of them explore the lives of secondary characters and their families. This story is unique in that it ties me personally to the universe. While I don't have a great-great-granddaughter (not even a granddaughter, yet), I do look forward to hearing what she thinks of our world. Hopefully I'll be alive so she can tell me to my face what I got wrong.

- Sean Williams

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