‘Harvest’ by Julian Gough

I interviewed Julian Gough about his debut novel Juno and Juliet when it came out in 2001. I only knew of him then as the lead singer in a band called Toasted Heretic. Two decades on, to a certain cohort of gamers he’s known as the author of one of the most culturally significant pieces of interdisciplinary cross-genre writing: the heartrending end poem that concludes the game of Minecraft. You can read more about that authorship saga, and it is one, here. Gough has said ‘Harvest’ was written by his subconscious one morning. Pre-publication, he used it as part of a digital fundraiser at a time when that was still a relatively novel thing to do, coining a brilliant new word, “Litcoin”, which don’t think ever took off. It’s a very beautiful, apocalyptic love story about a man and a woman, a bookshelf, and the end of the world, coming at dawn.

Collected in Davy Byrnes Stories 2014, The six prize-winning stories from the 2014 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award, The Stinging Fly Press, 2014

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