About the Book
In the remote desert town of Lafontaine, Casey Prentice has been trying to survive the endtimes by keeping her head down, refusing to give a damn about anyone except her younger sister Emily and wingman Malice Hiroyama. But that ceases to be an option when a powerful and mysterious entity known as the Anastasian League descends on the town.
Casey uncharacteristically, and unwisely, offers shelter to Pax, one of the League’s escaping prisoners. In doing so, she invites a whole new kind of danger into her life. Because the town of Lafontaine has a secret . . . and if the League discovers it, then the apocalypse will be the least of Casey’s worries.
2015 GCLS Award for Science Fiction/Fantasy
2015 Rainbow Award for Lesbian Sci-Fi / Futuristic
2015 Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian Book
“Benny Lawrence is brilliant. She writes beautifully, her witticisms are appreciated and her unique take on things is refreshing. She doesn’t think outside of the box, she tears up the box, jumps on it and sets it on fire.”–The Lesbian Review
“There are so many reasons I like this story. First, the author has an awesome sense of humor and it comes through in her writing. The characters are well developed and believable. I’ll also be looking into Benny Lawrence’s other books in hopes of catching some more of her refreshing wit.”–Sarah’s Lesfic, Honest Reviews of Lesbian Fiction
“Filled with as much adventure and excitement as profanity and lustful looks, Rabbits of the Apocalypse is altogether wicked fun.”–Tabitha Beth, The Rainbow Hub
IN WHICH MY SISTER IS WRONG ABOUT THE WORLD ENDING, AND WE DRINK CHAMPAGNE NEVERTHELESS
I was reading The Sex-Bots of Space Alcatraz for the fifty-third time when my little sister Emily slammed open the apartment hatch.
“Aliens are attacking the city!” she yelled, and then she slammed straight back out again.
My reaction surprised even me. “Thank God,” I said out loud. Then I dropped my dog-eared book and hurried after her.
Four of us lived in the apartment back then: me, Emily, “Malice” Hiroyama, and Emily’s stupid boyfriend. (There had been so many of them, I had given up trying to learn their names long before.) The apartment was what we called an “eco-eco,” which was supposed to mean Economical and Ecological. In practical terms, it meant Way Too Small, and since there were four of us stuffed in there, the place was crowded beyond reason or description. You couldn’t walk across the floor. You had to kind of wade across it, kicking things out of the way as you went you didn’t impale yourself on anything spiky and/or infected.
I waded across the floor, scattering our assortment of crap: my tools, Malice’s porn magazines, the stupid boyfriend’s enormous smelly sneakers, Emily’s plastic bangles and tubs of homemade lipstick. I managed to reach the hatch with no injuries but a scraped ankle. Not bad, considering what was at the bottom of some of those heaps.
My sling was hanging on its hook by the hatch. I thought about leaving it behind. If I was going to be killed by aliens tonight, I planned to go out kind of graceful-like, and flinging rocks at a hovering mother-ship is not the most graceful form of activity known to mankind. But old habits, as you may have heard, are very hard to break. I clipped the sling to my belt, clambered out of the hatch, hooked my feet around the ladder poles, and slid down. Then I remembered the bottle that we had been saving under the weapons rack for just such an occasion, and hurriedly pulled myself back up the ladder to grab it.
The streets outside had begun to fill. There was Emily, of course, wrapping her skinny arms around her stupid boyfriend as if she was trying to imitate a sweater. She was standing in a clutch of the other building tenants, between Bag Man and Crazy Zho. Behind them stood the working girls from the brothel down the street—most of them were older than forty, and they were the only people in sight with shaved legs. Nearby was Orelle Johnson, her baby blue dressing gown fluttering around her bulky body, a sawn-off shotgun resting on her shoulder. She owned the entire block of eco-ecos, and her expression promised a nasty drawn-out death to the first alien who made a move in that direction.
Then there was a smattering of the usual debris: beggars and beggar-children, most of them with missing limbs or eyes; traffickers with their rifles and cartridge belts; peddlers wearing heavy packs and nervous expressions; vagrants, pickpockets, and street prophets. Plus a handful of the sackcloth-clad pilgrims who sometimes drift through the desert looking for God knows what—literally, I guess. I shoved my way through the crush until I found Malice Hiroyama, who was perched on the rusting hulk of a dinotruck that was parked in front of our building. Permanently parked, since the engine and tires were missing, and it sat propped up on concrete blocks.
Every last one of them was gawking up at the sky.
It was worth gawking at. Hovering up there, shimmering against the flat black of the starless night, was a ring of shimmering blue light, an energy beam that hummed and crackled with electricity, pulsing and glowing and rippling.
All right, that was different.
I hoisted myself up onto the dino next to Malice. Her spikes of black hair reflected the pulses of blue energy, and the leaping sparks made it look like her whole head was electric.
Malice is only half Japanese, by the way. Her father was Romani. Emily and I, on the other hand, are a mix of Korean, Serbian, and Filipino, with a little Greek and Irish in the blend. Pretty average. Under the blue light, my skin turned aqua, except for the branching pattern of scars that traced their way up my arms from wrist to shoulder. They looked like reddish ferns, with tendrils of growth curling out from the thick central stems.
“Aliens attacking?” I asked Malice.
“That’s the working theory.”
She didn’t offer any more information, so, along with everyone else, I studied the sky. What was it, that ring of electricity? The landing lights of a flying saucer? A death beam? A transdimensional portal that would whisk us all off to a planet where we would be used as livestock? A giant airborne factory designed to convert us into mindless cyborgs? Or something even more cataclysmic?
I forced myself to stop guessing. I was letting my hopes get too high.
“Okay, look,” I said to Malice, using my adult voice, the snarly one. “Have we ruled out the other alternatives? Could this be some kind of freak . . . meteorological . . . thing?”
Malice scratched her nose delicately with her switchblade. “Yeah? Like what? Ring-shaped lightning? Electric rain?”
“Starlight through swamp gas?”
“In the middle of the damn desert, right. Keep guessing, nature queen.”
“Could be weird government shit . . .”
“That’d require a government.”
“Weird military shit . . .”
“Requires a military.”
“We could all be tripping on some real bad mushrooms.”
“Speak for yourself. I’m so frickin’ sober, it’s sickening.”
“I could be tripping on some real bad mushrooms.”
“If you had mushrooms that bad and didn’t share, then forget the aliens and start worrying about what I’m gonna do to you. Any other dumb theories?”
“Nah, aliens it is. So I guess we’re all gonna die grisly deaths tonight, a’ya?”