"A Sky the Color of Anger, A City Full of the End of the Universe"

by Grant Carrington

    "A Sky the Color of Anger" was published in Evelyn Lief's fanzine SEEDLING #4 (1968)

    It was written at the 1968 Clarion SF&F Writers Workshop around a painting that belonged to a friend of one of the workshoppers. Harlan Ellison thought I was making fun of him with the title but he liked the story.

    "Holy J.C. Christ!" I said, looking at the desolation in front of me. "You really don't expect us to give a concert here, do you, Charley?"
    Before our agent could answer, Bass rolled up to me and said, "It's a great honor to play here, Fred."
    "And it's going to all the networks, baby." (Charley had picked up his English from radio and TV . . . and me.) "The technicians are down in the circle now and the curtain goes up in two hours. Is your gutbucket tuned?"
    Spider strolled over and I scratched his soft blue underbelly. He rubbed a couple of his legs together in the series of scratches that I had learned to interpret as "Thanks."
    "What about The Axe?" I asked.
    Bass emitted a series of sounds that sounded like Spider's leg-scratchings and Spider answered. "He's just gotten back from the city," Bass told me, "and supervised the setting up of The Axe. He says everything is fine."
    "Where is this city?" I asked. "Can I see it?"
    "Come on," Charley said. "I'll take you over in the flyer."