Model Citizen

By Marilyn Anne Campbell

Short Story: Young Adult, Speculative Fiction
"The Invasion changed many things: the way people thought about themselves and each other, the landscape of the Earth, the very dynamics of the universe. But there were some things it did not change—things like the upper level food court of the Maddison Bay Mall."
Scotty goes looking for his first retail job, and ends up leading the fight against alien invaders.

Publication History

Model Citizen was first published in the YA speculative fiction magazine Inaccurate Realities. It appears in Volume One: Fear, which was published on October 22nd, 2013.

As of March 2016, you can read Model Citizen on Wattpad.

Story Notes

  • The first draft of this story was written way back in the summer of 2002. I submitted it to one magazine, got a rejection, and pretty much forgot about it for a decade. 

  • The main character was named after one of my roommates from 2002, although they are absolutely nothing alike. I was however using my roommate's laptop to write with while he was at work. At a clothing store, no less.

  • This actually never occurred to me:

  • The idea for Model Citizen began to take shape when I was in a store much like the fictional Harness. I imagined the mannequins strutting off of their stands and out into the world, all to a techno beat. It grew from there.

  • I wasn't aware of the Autons from Doctor Who when I first wrote the story. They're a mannequin-like foe that's been around since the 1970s, but I didn't start watching until well into the David Tennant years. That said, the "weapons of choice" are so different, I'm not really worried about it.

  • I did a major rewrite of the story specifically to submit it to the first issue of Inaccurate Realities after I learned about the new magazine through an interview the creators did with Canada Arts Connect.

  • In the original draft, Scotty is being interviewed on live television. The switch to a print journalist talking to him in the mall food court was the biggest change I made when I overhauled the piece in 2013.

  • When I decided to make that change, I also decided to engage in an unusual exercise for me. I usually write at home (or sometimes in the park), but I did the "overhaul" draft by hand one morning in the food court of the nearest mall.

  • There was a launch party for Inaccurate Realities held on November 9th, 2013 at Bakka Phoenix Books in Toronto. This led to the first instances of me signing things as an author (I've previously signed autographs for kids as an actor and puppeteer). I learned that I am surprisingly terrible at writing my own name. Here's my blog post about the event: Lessons and Photos from the Inaccurate Realities Launch Party

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