Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse

( 31 )

Overview

Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence—the Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon—these are our guides through the
Wastelands.

From the Book of Revelation to The Road Warrior, from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving eschatological tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. In doing so, these visionary authors have addressed one...

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Wastelands

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Overview

Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence—the Four Horsemen of the
Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon—these are our guides through the
Wastelands.

From the Book of Revelation to The Road Warrior, from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving eschatological tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. In doing so, these visionary authors have addressed one of the most challenging and enduring themes of imaginative fiction: the nature of life in the aftermath of total societal collapse.

Gathering together the best postapocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of speculative fiction—including George R. R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol
Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King—Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon. Whether the end of the world comes through nuclear war, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm, these are tales of survivors, in some cases struggling to rebuild the society that was,
in others, merely surviving, scrounging for food in depopulated ruins and defending themselves against monsters, mutants, and marauders.

Wastelands delves into this bleak landscape,
uncovering the raw human emotion and heart-pounding thrills at the genre’s core.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This harrowing reprint anthology of 22 apocalyptic tales reflects the stresses of contemporary international politics, with more than half published since 2000. All depict unsettling societal, physical and psychological adaptations their authors postulate as necessary for survival after the end of the world. Keynoted by Stephen King's "The End of the Whole Mess," the volume's common denominator is hubris: that tragic human proclivity for placing oneself at the center of the universe, and each story uniquely traces the results. Some highlight human hope, even optimism, like Orson Scott Card's "Salvage" and Tobias Buckell's "Waiting for the Zephyr." Others, like James Van Pelt's "The Last of the O-Forms" and Nancy Kress's "Inertia," treat identity by exploring mutation. Several, like Elizabeth Bear's "And the Deep Blue Sea" and Jack McDevitt's "Never Despair," gauge the height of human striving, while others, like George R.R. Martin's "Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels," Carol Emshwiller's "Killers" and M. Rickert's "Bread and Bombs," plumb the depths of human prejudice, jealousy and fear. Beware of Paolo Bacigalupi's far-future "The People of Sand and Slag," though; that one will break your heart. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

From Steven King's take on the end of humanity through science gone wrong ("The End of the Whole Mess") to John Langan's horrific tale of a small group's valiant last stand against an unbeatable enemy ("Episode Seven: Last Stand Against the Pack in the Kingdom of the Purple Flowers"), the 22 stories in this end-of-days anthology run the gamut from nuclear devastation to environmental debacle to the Second Coming. Also featuring Orson Scott Card, Octavia E. Butler, and Gene Wolfe, and including an original story by Jerry Oltion ("Judgement Passed"), this title belongs in most sf or short fiction collections.


—Jackie Cassada
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781482999754
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

John Joseph Adams, called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble, is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as Epic, Other Worlds than These, Armored, Under the Moons of Mars, Lightspeed, The Living Dead, The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Way of the Wizard, and others. He is a six-time finalist for the Hugo Award and a five-time nominee for the World Fantasy Award. He is also the editor and publisher of Lightspeed and Nightmare, and is the co-host of Wired.com’s The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Tomorrow never comes.

    Somebody once said that after a disaster there is always at least one survivor to tell the story to others. But what if you are the sole survivor and there is no-one else on Earth to talk to?

    Long ago I read a SF-story (or should I say a post-apocalyptic story? Oh well, what's in a name?) about a man who was not only the sole survivor of the human species but of all existing life including vegetation. Because of his injuries he could only crawl. After several months he finally reached the Ocean, crawled into the water and died. His decomposing body would provide the Ocean with atoms and molecules so that in a far future, new life could emerge from it.

    Because of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and the Cold War, post-apocalyptic literature was popular. But the fall of the Berlin Wall meant also the end of post-apocalyptic literature.

    Today there is a revival of this genre. Probably because adventure and the possibility of starting all-over have a kind of charm. Maybe the most notorious example is Cormac McCarthy who received the Pulitzer-Price for his novel 'The Road'.

    In this collection, you won't find stories where an invasion by Aliens or an uprising of Zombies are responsible for wastelands all over the globe. The editor of this anthology, John Joseph Adams, says that they could be the subject for another anthology.
    The best thing I can do right now is to give you the name of each author and the title of his/her story.

    The End of the Whole Mess - Stephen King
    Salvage - Orson Scott Card
    The People of Sand and Slag - Paolo Bacigalupi
    Bread and Bombs - M. Rickert
    How We Got In Town and Out Again - Jonathan Lethem
    Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels - George R.R. Martin
    Waiting for the Zephyr - Tobias S. Buckell
    Never Despair - Jack McDevitt
    When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth - Cory Doctorow
    The Last of the O-Forms - James Van Pelt
    Still Life with Apocalypse - Richard Kadrey
    Artie's Angels - Catherine Wells
    Judgement Passed - Jerry Oltion
    Mute - Gene Wolfe
    Inertia - Nancy Kress
    And the Deep blue Sea - Elisabeth Bear
    Speech Sounds - Octavia E. Butler
    Killers - Carol Emshwiller
    Ginny Sweethips' Flying Circus - Neal Barret, Jr.
    The End of the World as we Know It - Dale Bailey
    A Song Before Sunset - David Grigg

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    nice variety

    Wastelands is a book containing 22 short stories of life after an apocalypse. The editor did a really good job at picking stories detailing a variety of different world ending scenarios and the struggles of those left to rebuild society and start over.

    Some of these stories are just so-so....nothing special or memorable. Others, though, were really great. There are some that take place in the near future and some that take place so far away in time that people aren't even recognizable as people anymore. Some of these stories are very sad and don't show much hope for humanity, while others end on a very optimistic and happy note...a fresh start. "All of them explore one question: What would life be like after the end of the world as we know it?" If you are into the Post-Apocalyptic sub-genre, then this is definitely a book you should check out.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Average read.

    This book has great heights and low, low, lows. While the apocalypse from a religious perspective is in some ways warranted, I skipped those stories that discussed it, simply because I'm not interested and don't want to entertain 'their' fantasies.
    Some stories were just tasteless ("How we got in to town and out again", "Ginny Sweethips..."), and others were poignant and beautiful ("Never Despair", "Waiting for the Zephyr"). Altogether, a thoroughly average compilation that does its elegant and intriguing cover art wrong.

    Many of the stories in this book are actually free on the book's website, by the way.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2015

    Great read

    There are a few stories that drag and dissapoint but there are others that keep you wanting to know more about that world. Very solid collection of readings and lots of fun read. Great book to pick up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2015

    Wonderfully woeful

    A great collection of short stories about t
    he end of the world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    NURSERY

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Glitpaw

    I want to be a med cat

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Apprentice Den

    ~Shadowstar

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Amazing amazing book

    Loved it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    There were some very worthwhile stories in here

    A couple of the stories did bore me a bit but there were many others that I found rather interesting. Quite a few of the stories were rather original as well, which can be hard to do with all the apocalypse out there. Overall, a good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book of short stories...

    Quick, easy read with a little bit of everything in dealing with an apocalypse. Hopeful, hopeless, happy and sad. If you enjoy this sub-genre you will enjoy this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Judgment Passed

    This book presents a sweet collection of end of the world tales, each providing a rather unique take on the end of the whole mess. The editors were careful to select stories that deviated from the normative apocalyptic tale. Ruined landscapes and mutated humanity humanity abound, but with intelligent twists, and unexpected outcomes.

    There is one stand-out story by Jerry Oltion, Judgement Passed, in which a starship crew returns to Earth only to find evidence leading some to conclude that the "Rapture" has occurred during their absence. It has led our group to some wonderful conversations about the nature of reality, individual and group perspective. That story alone is worth the purchase!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very solid collection.

    'Wastelands' is a very solid anthology of post-apocalyptic fiction, with contributions from some of the leading authors writing in the field. A good starting place for anyone interested in the sub-genre or anyone wanting to come back and revisit it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

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