The short story “This is the Ice Age” by Claude Lalumière was published for the first time in 2006.
A group of kids try to survive in Montreal after a new ice age has destroyed civilization. Daniel and Mark are two brothers who are very different but they remain united while trying to survive the cold that suddenly struck the world. Daniel has his beliefs about the catastrophe and other things and other people listen to him and start following him in a sort of new religion.
From a thematic point of view, initially “This is the Ice Age” may seem similar to “Maxim Fujiyama and other persons” because it’s a story set after a catastrophe that destroyed civilization all over the world. They’re different not only for the type of catastrophe but also in the way they’re developed by Claude Lalumière and this makes it interesting not only to read them both but also to compare the author’s different approach.
“Maxim Fujiyama and other persons” is the story of a single protagonist with his reflections. “This is the Ice Age” offers a brief and intense view of some teenagers’ life after a sudden ice age whose causes are the subject of speculations. One of the kids, Daniel, expresses certain convictions the way naive youngsters can do when they have fun having a competition for who makes the most absurd nonsense. In a situation very different from the one in which they grew up, Daniel’s nonsense creates a cult around him.
The young protagonists of “This is the Ice Age” are still innocent and this increases even more the contrast with the cult that develops around Daniel, who begins to call himself Danny Quantum. It’s as if the outlandish ideas he proposes are the only ones capable of warming the other survivors, even the ones who are much older and in theory more mature than him.
“This is the Ice Age” is narrated in the first person from Martha’s point of view but in some ways shows above all the contrasting emotions of Mark, caught between his involvement in his brother’s actions and his girlfriend’s wishes. In some ways it represents the attitude of many young people, who look for an identity within a group and at the same time try to look to their future but in that situation what kind of future can they expect? You can find this short story for example in the anthology “Other Persons – Altre persone” published by Future Fiction in English and Italian.