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Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,162 ratings  ·  141 reviews
A new short story from Mira Grant, the author of Feed. Every week five friends get together to play a game-- a game they call the Apocalypse Game. It's a fun time with chips and beer and plotting the end of the world. Except this time, one of them is missing and the stakes are higher than ever before.

Word count: ~3,900
ebook, Short story, 21 pages
Published April 18th 2011 by Orbit (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,291)
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karen
this is the best review i have ever written!! i am entering it into a book-reviewing contest. in which i will also eat pie!!

hahahah awesome! if every book i read this year is as short as this one, i am well on my way to victory!!!

but i am not trying to cheat - i really did want to read this, and since i borrowed this blessed nook, i was able to read all sorts of interstitial and prequel type books and stories.

and this one.

which is kind of neither, but is a fantastic story by an author who has
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Ace
this should be made into a novel... because i'm wanting more. i'm still thinking what could have happened...
James
If the concept of Kindle locations maps evenly to pages across different books, I make this short story about 11 pages long. At £1.49 that's 13.5 pence per page. Which seems pretty expensive for a book. I probably wouldn't be complaining if the short story wasn't 'only' 50% of the download. Thinking I was approaching the half-way mark I was pretty disappointed to suddenly be presented with a page about Mira Grant, a photograph of her in an odd pose (I didn't read the accompanying text) and then ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
This must be the shortest short story ever written. But who cares!? It was perfect.
Alex Telander
After the success of Feed, fans will be experiencing the impatient excruciating wait leading up to the release of the sequel, Deadline (due out May 31), with little to do but twiddle their page-turning fingers. Thankfully, Mira Grant and Orbit with the Orbit Short Fiction series have presented us fans with a brief respite; a kernel of entertainment in the form of a short story, “Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box,” from the author as we count down the days to the final Deadline.

Friends are good;
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Susan
I actually read this as part of When Will You Rise, but am reviewing it here because it's available separately.

This is a terrific short story. It's good to see Grant's concern with the apocalyptic end of the world give rise to other scenarios than the zombie one in the Newsflesh Trilogy. It's only 15 pages long, and sets up a terrific dilemma for its characters and the reader.

My only quarrel with it is that Grant got sloppy at the end. In trying to tie it up neatly, she ended with a sentence tha
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Kerry
This was an interesting little story - very little actually as only half the small file is the story and the rest is a teaser for Feed.

I'm feeling fairly dumb (but then I have had a headache all day and I'm coming down with the flu), but I couldn't completely work out exactly how the scenario was supposed to work. I get the first bit, but not the second and the choice the characters have to make.

If someone out there did get it, could you let me know in the comments? I assume spoiler tags can be
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Erynne Mitchell
While I really like everything else by Mira Grant that I've read, this one didn't quite do it for me. One major problem I had with it: if the pathogens have already been released and people were already symptomatic, inoculating people with a vaccine wouldn't actually do anything. Once you've had a pathogen introduced to your immune system, introducing MORE of the pathogen (which is what a vaccine does) would do very little to protect you.


I'm sad that this shortshort story wasn't better. Still wo
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Mike (the Paladin)
I downloaded this from Audible and...it's pretty good. I really can't go more than 3 stars on it as it's plain where the story is going from the first line and there's little or no surprise or innovation. There is however a nice "pall" of terror and realization among the characters. You have a bit of the "Lady and the Tiger feel also as the story leaves you wondering what each character will do and what will be the outcome.

It's okay and for the low price I paid I can't complain at all. If you're
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John Kirk
It's not bad, but I was expecting more. Although the ebook is 27 pages long, the story only takes 10 pages of that, i.e. the majority of the book is filler. At £1.49, that's more expensive per page than most comics; I don't mind paying extra there, because I know that the artwork (normally) takes longer than the script.

Still, cost aside, how's the story? I'm glad that it was told in the 3rd person, rather than being a 1st person narrative like the Newsflesh trilogy. However, I was able to predic
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catharine
This was a bit disappointing. It reads like the cold open of a procedural TV show like Bones or House, and I'm left waiting for a story where something actually HAPPENS. This is all prelude, and while it does have a certain "Monkey's Paw" kind of charm at the end, I did not feel like I got my money's worth ($1.99 on Amazon).
Indigo
Short. Sweet. Chilling.

Seanan McGuire, writing as Mira Grant, has a gift for making you care about her characters -- even the ones in her short stories.

George
Such a cool setup, too bad it's not a full novel.
Eric
"That was totally wicked!"

So I've been watching The Incredibles (A LOT) on BD lately (I mean you couldn't just tell could you ;-) and I think I figured out the two moments of that movie that completely embody my feelings towards these two short stories. Oh I mean Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box and the short shorty presented in The Living Dead 2. What was the name of that again??

Anyway. For The Box see quote above. For... Hmm must get the name of that story. I shall quote you:

Bob Parr: What
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Elizabeth Giosia
It seems that most other reviewers rate this book with few stars because they paid more than $.99 for it. Personally, I feel like I got my $2.00 worth; this short story was fantastic. Granted, it is a SHORT story. Approximately 21 pages long, according to Goodreads.

Like Mira Grant's other books, this short is set in the Newsflesh universe and and revolves around virology. This short story is chilling and haunting; I felt that this was something that could actually happen. It's not unheard of tha
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Carmen Jenner
I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to the genius that is Mira Grant. Her first novel in the Newsflesh Series: Feed - where we follow three budding reporters in the blogging world as they search for the truth behind the infection that wiped out half the population by turning them into the living dead - was one of my favourite reads of last year!

It's no surprise then that Mira comes out with this little gem, and I do mean little. At just 3,900 words it's possibly the most involved and exci
...more
Elise
I can sum up this short story in one word. Lame. After reading the Newsflesh Trilogy, I had a really high opinion of Grant. Her writing has always been excellent, and her characters draw you in and make you want to 'rise up'. I'm not sure what to make of this 'short fiction' direction she is taking. The story opens with a group of long-time friends who meet up weekly to play a game where they discuss and debate how the world will one day end. Only this time, one of their group members is missing ...more
Bea
Why I Read It: I love the Newsflesh series and don’t want to miss any stories. Plus, it introduces us to the origins of the viruses responsible for the zombie epidemic and the government’s response.

This is told from several different POV’s but is easy to follow. We meet the creators of the viruses and see how they were well intentioned. In this case, it seems that the road to Hell really was paved with good intentions. We also meet the Masons in this story and see how normal they were when all t
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Ioana

If the name Mira Grant sounds familiar, then you've probably read her Newsflesh series and you know she's an awesome writer, as I am now convinced she is.


I admit, although I have Feed(Newsflesh#1) on my TBR list, I haven't gotten around to reading it, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this short story.


By the end, that comes way too soon, all my doubts aside,The Boxis great!


Andy, Mike, Sandi, Elsa, Ryan and Cole have been friends since highschool, when they first invented, accident

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Laura
Ok so when they said short story, they literally meant teeny, tiny, blink-and-you'll-miss-it story. This is so ridiculously short I don't see why Mira Grant bothered to release this for SALE (as in you have to pay for it). This is what irritates me about kindle books, you can't see what you're paying for. If I had known that this book was literally ten pages long there isn't a hope in hell I would have paid for it. Yes it was only about two euro but still. It should have been free.

The actual st
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Shara
My Rating: Good Read

I bought this last year when I visited Amazon.com to download Countdown: A Novella (review LJ || WP), and happened to notice this short story lurking around too. My brain said, "Hell, yeah!" and downloaded it immediately, and then I promptly forgot about both. Bad me.

Especially since this short story is so short. I could've read it in less than ten minutes if I'd just sat down and read "Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box" when I'd downloaded it. It's barely 4000 words, and Gr
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Victor
That was a disappointment.
There is nothing at all wrong with Mira Grant's short story (I don't even think it could be called a novella) Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box. The problem arises in that the short story just sits there, like a lump, 10 minutes after your started reading it. Staring at you. It's a $3 Kindle purchase, (or $2 I can't remember) and it takes 10 minutes to finish. When you've finished you realize that you're only 50% through the Kindle content (the rest is just the first c
...more
RachelvlehcaR
Very short story, almost prequel to the Newsflesh Trilogy: Feed, Deadline, and Blackout. I feel this was a good short and also a spin in how the whole outbreak started. This is a quick read and very intense, especially towards the end of the story. I can't say much about it without giving it all away. It's good. :) I thought about it for a while, also because I started to read the Newsflesh Trilogy after it. It changed my perspective of the trilogy, so read the first book before reading this one ...more
Darcy
I like that this group of friends has gotten together for years and plotted the demise of the world. I find it really creepy that one of the friends has taken what they learned and put it into place through working for the government. Part of me admires Cole, it took balls to let your friends in on things, part of me hates her for telling them, because I know if it was me, I would rather not know that they world was going to end and I wouldn't want to survive it.
Laura Martinelli
A short, chilling read from Mira Grant (alias Seanan McGuire, Destroyer of Emotions) that takes a nihilistic but harmless game of “What if” and turns it far more destructive than its players could imagine. In the short amount of pages, Grant manages to give a detailed sketch of all of the players of the Apocalypse Scenario and how they may potentially react to the mysterious Box in front of them. My only real complaint is that she does tip the reader’s hand as to what’s going on, without giving ...more
Tricotaine
So for 15 years they met and played that scenario game every Friday? You would think that after a while it would get old and repetitive. Other than that great short story. I am not sure I really understood why she introduced the "final solution" plan B not sure it was necessary to push the characters toward a descision but fun read and good "what next" ending
Jean Pearl
2.5 stars

I was so surprised how short this story was. I thought it would consist at least a two or few more chapters but whoa. It was too short than what I expected. No chapters. Just a very short story. I admit at first I was kind of feeling lost tuning on the characters' entire 'game' but later on, thankfully, I caught up. I thought it would somehow connect to the Newsflesh series yet the 'diseases'(<--it's literally not a codename) mentioned differed to that of the series. I would've enjoy
...more
Srividya
Amazing story!!! Really really amazing story but unfortunately too short. I want to know what happens next. I wish this were a complete book, it has a really wonderful potential. I sincerely hope this story does have a complete book or even a series coming after this, for it has left me waiting and wanting!!
Nemo
I don't know why everybody is harping on about it being so short - it's a short story. What were you expecting? War and Peace?

I, however, am going to harp on the fact that this was a very predictable story. If I can tell you the ending of a story by the third page, I don't like the story, simple as. I wish I had been wrong; if this was meant to be a twist ending, that failed. That's about as much of a twist now as "I am your father" - that horse is not pining, it's passed on. That horse is no mo
...more
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Apocalypse Whenever: Apocalypse scenario #683. I'm confused. [spoilers] 5 49 Mar 16, 2012 02:52AM  
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Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallen ...more
More about Mira Grant...
Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1) Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy, #2) Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3) Parasite (Parasitology, #1) Countdown (Newsflesh Trilogy, #0.5)

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