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Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- Publication date : January 1, 2008
- File size : 684 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 354 pages
- Publisher : Night Shade Books; Reprint edition (January 1, 2008)
- ASIN : B07H4917Q4
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #322,013 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Short stories are my favourite way to consume sci-fi. It allows the authors to fully explore their creativity without investing in complex story development, and allows the reader to sample a wide variety of styles and creative thought. Short stories are how sci-fi developed as a genre and it is good to be able to continue enjoying it in that manner.
Having said that, there are some definite misses in this collection. But they are all short so if you don't like one story the next will be along soon.
As to the content of this volume. These are all apocalyptic stories with more of a focus on the aftermath both long and short, instead of the typical breakdown of society as is so often the case. Starting the book with Stephen King's, "The End of the Whole Mess" sets a perfect pace for the rest of the book and is a story I have loved for years being a 'Constant Reader' from way back. Every story is short enough to read in a single lunch break which is a huge plus for me. Bite sized little chunks let me pace myself without being bogged down in a 150+ page novella masquerading as a short story. 15-25 pages seems to be about the norm with a small group of quick 4-8 page stories. With 22 stories I expected the quality would be hit or miss and there was only 1 story I didn't care for, that being "Mute", by Gene Wolfe, even that I did not actively dislike. Quite often I found myself having to stop and reflect on something that really touched me before I could keep going. In spite of the darker subject matter there was a great deal of hope contained in here. Speaks volumes of the indomitable human spirit, even if the term human is a slippery one. There were also many thought provoking subjects that I did not expect. Speech Sounds is one of these that explores communication when language disappears. A frequently recurring theme is the things we value that we leave behind, and the things that have no survival value but have a spiritual value. All in all the collection is tight and well thought out to create a flowing symmetry that never rushes or makes light of serious things. A must own for fans of both short stories and post apocalypse books.
Dale Bailey's "The End Of The World As We Know It" seeks out our fascination with doomsday plagues. "And The Deep Blue Sea" by Elizabeth Bear reminded my of Roger Zelazny's "Damnation Alley". Stephen King’s quiet story, “The End of the Whole Mess”, is told through a quickly-written memoir of a last survivor. Jonathan Lethem explores bread and circuses in “How We Got In Town and Out Again”. It involves a virtual reality contest that provides people a diversion from the scarcity of food. James Van Pelt sets up a unique setting in “The Last of the O-Forms”. In this future, the a plague has made genetic mutations the order of the day, in animals and humans. The range of premise and quality of writing make this worth the read.
Top reviews from other countries
I'm not usually a fan of collections of short stories but I love post apocalyptic fiction and this has a huge collection of that.
The stories that are good are really good but you need to sift through a lot of chaf to get to the good ones.
Having said that, I may still purchase the second volume because the good stories really were good
The selected stories are brilliant, and the quality of the writers displayed here is just amazing. Still I found quite hard to keep some interest on this book, when the stories are definitively to short to have some pleasure while reading them. There's always the feeling of something missing, that shouldn't come with such amazing writing quality.
In the end, this books stands between a good book, with brilliant stories, and something where we could never get truly satisfied as we should.
It's a pity that such an amazing idea got lost in such short stories.