After (Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia)

After (Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia)

3.6 9
by Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling
     
 

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If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe's

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Overview

If the melt-down, flood, plague, the third World War, new Ice Age, Rapture, alien invasion, clamp-down, meteor, or something else entirely hit today, what would tomorrow look like? Some of the biggest names in YA and adult literature answer that very question in this short story anthology, each story exploring the lives of teen protagonists raised in catastrophe's wake—whether set in the days after the change, or decades far in the future.

New York Times bestselling authors Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Susan Beth Pfeffer, Carrie Ryan, Beth Revis, and Jane Yolen are among the many popular and award-winning storytellers lending their talents to this original and spellbinding anthology.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Looking for happily ever after? Look elsewhere. These 19 original tales of technology gone wrong, disease run rampant, and Earth's inhabitants struggling to survive are dark, heavy, and filled with foreboding. They are also well-crafted—each with its own flavor and texture—creating a collection to be savored, pondered, and enjoyed. Frequent collaborators and anthologists Datlow and Windling have assembled a crew of writers that includes Cecil Castellucci, Gregory Maguire, Susan Beth Pfeffer, and Beth Revis. Garth Nix offers an unsettling prelude to Shade's Children with a short story set 10 years prior to the events of that novel. Carrie Ryan's chilling love story takes place in a diseased and dangerous world, while Matthew Kressel presents a comically sad game of baseball in a devastated world where strange, alien creatures lurk. And Steven Gould contributes a haunting portrait of a society overridden by metal-eating bugs. Readers thirsting for more material in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Eleventh Plague will be satisfied with the array of tales offered and marvel at just how bleak Earth's future can look. Ages 12–up. (Nov.)
VOYA - Geri Diorio
Any librarian who has been asked for books just like The Hunger Games will appreciate how this collection of short stories will satiate readers hungry for tales of futuristic woe. As the title implies, these stories do not describe the (political, environmental, socioeconomic) disasters but instead describe events post-apocalypse, what life is like afterward. The variety of tales and writing styles is wide. Cecil Castellucci offers a story where cities have vanished and knowledge of science is lost, but society somehow still runs via strict rules about cross-breeding. Jeffrey Ford presents a coming-of-age tale where becoming an adult means getting your own firearm. Not that far-fetched, but when it is law that everyone must be armed, and when teachers joke around by aiming their handguns at students who misbehave in class, things can get dicey fast. Genevieve Valentine presents a tale where the media manipulates survivors for the government, staging wars, family reunions, and touching scenes of bravery and hope. The actors in these mini-movies best remain anonymous because terrible things could happen if the public finds out about them. The sixteen other tales cover everything from lycanthropy and mutation to the lengths one would go to find lost family members. These are good, smart, well-written science fiction pieces. They throw readers into the tale, and they must figure out things from context as they read. Teens seeking a dystopian fix, as well fans of science fiction, will be well pleased by this book. Ages 12 to 18.
VOYA - Holly Storm
For any lover of dystopian or post-apocalyptic literature, After is a must-read. The disasters in the collection are incredibly varied and creative. Despite the bleak premise, the stories do not all strike a gloomy tone; the authors capture many emotions, ranging from poignant to comical; from stirring to chilling. Even given the short length of each piece, the characters are all very easy to get attached to. Each story will leave readers craving more of the author’s work. 5Q, 4P. Ages 12 to 18.
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, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Both superstar and up-and-coming YA authors tackle the themes of apocalypse and dystopia in 19 short stories and poems. Nearly every story provides a first-person adolescent protagonist, with male and female viewpoints equally represented, some with explicit GLBT orientation. The scenarios they narrate vary widely--from ecological catastrophes to alien invasion, political revolutions to supernatural uprisings, religious tyranny to socioeconomic collapse--but with less emphasis on the mechanics of the disaster than on coping with the aftermath. Graphic violence and destruction are avoided in favor of pointed allusions and carefully selected images; although many are creepy or even nightmarish, most conclude on a note of hope. Yet the relentless succession of bleak circumstances and failure eventually blurs the individual voices into an indistinguishable grimness. Indeed, the concluding bibliographical essay by the editors is in many ways the highlight of the volume, succinctly tracing the history, appeal and best current examples of the genre. A fine selection for new readers looking to sample this type of fiction or for dedicated fans seeking fresh voices. (Science fiction/short stories. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423146193
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
HL810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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