Hoping to identify a short story I read in a sci-fi anthology in the late 1980s: no character names, I'm afraid, but the plot was along these lines: a girl (probably!) lives in a "normal" world, what we'd identify as a late 20th century Earth setting, but she experiences glitches in her experience; what she doesn't know, and is only revealed at the end, is that Earth is now in a post-apocalyptic state, almost everyone is dead, and the last handful of survivors are using their remaining energy resources to power a fully immersive VR so that she can experience a regular childhood. the story closes with them all gathered around her in a wasteland, knowing that they'll have to wake her up eventually.

It was grim.

It was an English language anthology, part of a series in our local library's YA section. I'm afraid that I can't remember the name of the anthology series, but it might have been a single word + volume number as a title - like, "Space 4", but less obvious. I read heaps of similar short stories at the time, so it would be misleading to list others I recall, as I can't say for sure if they were part of the anthology.

They were a hardback collection, with vaguely futuristic artwork (citycapes, mostly).

Attaching a cover that is very similar to my memory of what the book looked like!

similar cover of scifi anthology: The Future in Question in purple writing in an orange/yellow background with green round blobs on the bottom


1 Answer 1


Although your story is from the 1980s, the premise is very similar to "Moongazer" by Marianne "Mari" Mancusi, published in 2007.

Plot summary:

Skye Brown has it all: the cool job, the hot boyfriend, the apartment on New York's Upper West Side. Lately she can't enjoy any of it because she's having dreams of a post-apocalyptic world, of a bleak futuristic wasteland, of a struggle against oppression, and she's been told she's a Moongazer.

  • Except that the question says it dates from the 1980s, so it can't be that.
    – DavidW
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 21:44
  • True, missed that essential detail. I'll edit my question.
    – Sonny Z.
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 21:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.