From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Eighteen stories and one poem by both popular and lesser-known authors. There are stories ranging from the nightmarish-Steven Gould's "Rust With Wings" about metal-eating bugs that will devour anything, including a pacemaker-to the comical-Matthew Kressel's "The Great Game at the End of the World," about a game of baseball played as Earth is being destroyed by strange alien creatures. Jeffrey Ford's "Blood Drive" strikes an ominous, "too close to home" note given recent events in the news: it is a frank depiction of a world in which everyone over 18, including teachers and students, is armed with guns. Though the subject matter is bleak, many stories end on a note of hope or provide moments of reflection. While not every entry is strong, there is much here to savor, and fans of dystopias won't be disappointed.-Necia Blundy, formerly at Marlborough Public Library, MAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This engrossing collection of short stories tackles a single question: What happens to humanity following a disaster that causes calamitous, fundamental, and long-lasting change? Nineteen authors answer in stories that tackle political upheaval (Reunion, by Susan Beth Pfeffer); ecological disaster (Visiting Nelson, by Katherine Langrish); doomsday cults (All I Know of Freedom, by Carol Emshwiller); and inexplicable phenomena (The Easthound, by Nalo Hopkinson). The editors have forgone purist definitions of dystopia—by also including stories of an apocalyptic nature—in an attempt to recognize the range of dystoptian fiction being written today. A brief history of the development of dys-lit concludes the collection. Fans of the genre will naturally gravitate toward After and find much to enjoy. Others may simply be attracted to the names Jane Yolen, Garth Nix, Gregory Maguire, Beth Revis, Cecil Castellucci, and Carrie Ryan; even if they come for their favorites, they’ll want to stick around for the rest. Grades 9-12. --Kara Dean