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After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia (Across the Universe 0.1 (The Other Elder))

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  1,512 Ratings  ·  244 Reviews
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—whe ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 384 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Hyperion Book CH
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Finale by Becca FitzpatrickThe Lost Prince by Julie KagawaThe Mark of Athena by Rick RiordanThe Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinBreathe by Sarah Crossan
October 2012
52nd out of 79 books — 287 voters
Incarnate by Jodi MeadowsA Million Suns by Beth RevisEverneath by Brodi AshtonInsurgent by Veronica RothThe Selection by Kiera Cass
Amazing YA Covers of 2012
459th out of 744 books — 2,411 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apr 21, 2015 karen rated it liked it

i know that this collection is a YA collection, but it really doesn't read like one. usually in YA collections, there is sort of a range of stories, qualitatively, that reflect the range of teen readers, from stronger to more reluctant readers. but these stories, even the ones i wasn't totally crazy about, are completely sophisticated and could be included in any adult fantasy collection. well, mostly. there is the "meh" one that didn't really do anything for me, and seemed a little young.

oh, YA

Short story collections and anthologies are always a mixed bag for me. Not only do I struggle with my own personal hang-ups when it comes to the short story format itself, you pretty much know going in to any anthology there will be hits and there will be misses. If you're lucky, a few will emerge as outstanding pieces of awesomeness, and I'm thankful to report I experienced that here.

Two things attracted me to this collection: 1) Ellen Datlow (editor extraordinaire) and 2) you had me at dystopi
J.A. Dalley
Nov 28, 2012 J.A. Dalley rated it really liked it
Detailed Review of After

The Segment
Really interesting world and characters. Reminded me of Hunger Games. 7
After the Cure
Interesting take on a zombie apocalypse. Great characters!
Great setting. I really enjoyed it.
Visiting Nelson
I couldn't read more than two pages because the narrative is written from the perspective of an illiterate teenager, i.e. Sint Paul, useta, coz, etc.
All I Know of Freedom
This story was really weird. I didn't like it because it was a green global warming st
Jan 14, 2015 Louisa rated it it was amazing
Oh, I enjoyed a lot of these stories, they were creepy, and good, and now I'm one step closer to rereading Across the Universe!
Savannah (Books With Bite)
Sep 23, 2012 Savannah (Books With Bite) rated it really liked it
I love dystopian stories. There are so many possibilities that any story facing some uncertain future always manages to capture me.

Now, I know most don't like short stories, but I do. Let me tell you why? Short stories are quick to the book and for me, leave me wondering what more could happen if the author expand the story? I love that short stories gives the reader a quick glance of what life is like and then close with questions.

As I read through these stories several stood out to me. Now onl
Margit Sage
It's challenging to build a believable, detailed world with developed, relatable characters in a short story. In order to make a story interesting, you have to add an intriguing plot with good pacing. Some authors are more successful than others at these tasks.

3.5* "The Segment" by Genevieve Valentine - The first page was confusing and hard to get into, but then the story picked up. Loved the ending, which really pulled everything together.

4* "After the Cure" by Carrie Ryan - The pacing was quic
Jun 20, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I give this book a 10/10, all of the stories went together nicely while being intelligent and able to hold their heads up high saying "We all make sense and make you want to read more! But that sucks to be you because there might not be more!"

Segment by Genevieve Valentine
This story was very interesting, it really made me think of the significance of actors in the present time, the characters were interesting and although one girl was very irritating her annoying-ness wasn't without reason. Grea
Carpe diem (♫ נєѕѕι¢α  ♪)
OKAY, because this is abuncha little stories bundled up in one, I'm just going to keep updating this review as I go along so I don't forget any important details.

The Segment, by Genevieve Valentine. 2 stars.

Ok so, for some reason it took me super long to get past this story. And that's pathetic 'cause its so short! But I found it completely boring and I didn't even understand what was going on til the end. Like, at all. I don't even know why. I know, so sad. But whatever.

After the cure, by Carr
Aug 11, 2014 WatermeLoonie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Most of these short stories were absolutely mindblowingly awesome, thrilling, unexpecting and just generally fun. That's the way short stories are right? And this was even better AS... IT HAD APOCALYPSE. I MEAN IT'S KINDA LIKE AN OKAY THING LIKE BREAD PLUS ANOTHER OKAY THING LIKE CHEEZE AND YOU'VE GOT A CHEEZE TOASTIE. Marvelous!

THe male character ones weren't that great though... it wasn't as moving or awesome or anything.... I mean the first one? One of the best, if not THE best. Genius, quite
Pat F.
This book has 3 big things going for it:
1. They're young adult postapocalyptic, which is rare.
2. All of the stories take place only *after* the disaster has occurred--it doesn't really matter how it happened (or even what happened).
3. There's a preponderance of female authors, for once.

As with all short-story collections, some of these are better than others. Standouts for me were the ones by Genevieve Valentine, Sarah Rees Brennan (long-time fan, here) and Cecil Castellucci.
Mar 09, 2012 Pamela marked it as to-read
Only want to read Beth Revis's story but I guess I'll have to read everything in the end anyway...
Terri M.
After reading the Ashfall by Mike Mullin, the Divergent series by Veronica Roth and The Hunger Games series by Susanne Collins, I have been drawn to stories about the apocalypse and dystopian societies. They seem to be a reflection of our current society and since I gravitate towards young adult fiction, I’ve been keeping an eye out for this collection ever since I passed up the opportunity to purchase it directly from Ellen when she was a guest at ICON a few years ago. And I was excited to fina ...more
Apr 04, 2015 Kristi rated it really liked it
Shelves: trc2015
This book has been read and reviewed for Reading Thru the Library.

Yay, our first four star review!

So I started out this review with 5 categories: great, good, meh, bad, awful; the more stories that I finished though, the more I felt that none of them were going to be bad or awful. Even though there are quite a few in my 'meh' category, they weren't really bad. Just kinda boring, or too overwhelmed for a short story. The great ones were really, really awesome, though. Definitely worth a read.

Jewell Moreno
Feb 06, 2015 Jewell Moreno rated it really liked it
An anthology for teens. Here's a quick breakdown.

The Segment by Genevieve Valentine - The future of the news, and how they get their "story".

After The Cure by Carrie Ryan - This one was my favorite out of the whole book. Great story about what happens once you've been cured of a horrible disease.

Valedictorian by N.K.Jemison - What happens to the smartest and not so smart kids after A.I. has taken over.
Scary possibility.

Visiting Nelson by Katherine Langrish - The sad result of drugs, and an apo
Crys (The Hodgenator)
The end of the world in a nice anthology of short stories, and a poem. This book has it all for even the most avid dystopian junkie.

This is almost a survival guide for readers because there is a plethora of topics covered. It's like a buffet for the most avid doomer. Vampires take over the world? Check. Bugs coming for us? Check. Aliens? Oh my! And let me not forget the Cult. This is not even a small test of what the authors have given us.

The one thing I love about this anthology is that I did
Dec 13, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Dystopian or Apocalyptic stories
This review can also be found here

**I won this book in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway**

This review will be a little different since there are nineteen short stories in this book and I don't want a ridiculously long review so I shall just touch on them briefly.

The Segment by Genevieve Valentine

I really liked this story. It was about children and teenagers who are taken in and used to film "news" stories for the rich people in their destroyed society to see. They used this to get them to dona
Chapter by Chapter
Jan 19, 2013 Chapter by Chapter rated it liked it
If there’s one form of literature that truly frightens me, it’s anthologies. Why? Because I personally find that when it comes to anthologies, I get really wrapped up in the plots only to find myself being cut off. The end. Done. Never mind how attached I got to the characters in the short story or how I expected a big plot, they just end and leave everything to the imagination. That’s why I love novels, because they usually tie everything up nicely. Like a ribbon on a Christmas present; Wrapped ...more
Mar 19, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I love this collection of short stories. Then again, I love dystopia/post-apocalyptic fiction, so I was probably bound to love it. The Segment was a perfect intro book for this collection. Blood Drive was eerie to read given the current events/discussion related to guns & schools. After the Cure was excellent (as Carrie Ryan always is). The Other Elder made me wish I could read a whole book series set on that ship.

Only two of the stories have been less than 5 stars in my opinion, and some of
Datlow and Windling's YA anthologies are always worth reading. The first one I read was The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm in 2004. That book was worth reading for its introduction and its list of Further Reading alone. It introduced me to The King of Elfland's Daughter and Stardust . For months, I was obsessed with faeries, reading novel after novel from the list. I also read their anthology The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest which has all the same great information, Further ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Charlotte rated it liked it

After consists of nineteen stories by some of your favorite YA authors like Garth Nix, Susan Beth Pfeffer, and Gregory Maguire to name a few. The stories range in varying degrees of terrifying. Like teens who live in a world where everyone carries a gun to school. Teens who are on a spaceship, and another story features a crucial game of baseball played with the Creepies are just a few examples of what imaginative stories you will find in this book.

You all
STORY 1: The Segment by Genevieve Valentine. News is fake. And the people on the news who are playing the parts of orphans, disaster survivors, child soldiers etc. are slaves sold to the media corporations, after being caught living on the street (being a slave to the Agency is considered better – the street life is horrible). One girl (age 19) tries to warn another girl (16) away from what she thinks is 'her big break'. Why? Of course, for some horrible, depressing reason.
STORY 2: After the Cur
Apr 11, 2013 Andrew rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic book and I will not try and compete with all the other great reviews out there. However two things I would like to draw attention to. The first is the introduction which tells of the history of dystopia literature and tries to explain its appeal - in sensible and mature ways. Sometimes I find a style or type of work gets a label and that label then becomes almost a derogatory designation for that work. And this introduction goes a long way to not only dispel that but also sho ...more
May 06, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
This was a largely enjoyable anthology of post-apocalyptic / dystopic stories from YA and adult authors. The editors chose not to nitpick the definitions of either setting, so I will follow their lead.

As with every other collection I've read, there are great stories and there are stinkers. Many of the authors were guilty of what I call a "huge sin": over-capitalizing things. Because, you know, after The War happens, we all live in the Compound where the Dinner Bell rings and we eat our Soy Glop
Aug 20, 2012 Reving rated it really liked it
After is a volume of collected short stories all with a dystopian theme. Some of these stories are un-put-down-able! If that isn't a word, it should be. There were many that I want more, more, more from and wished that I could find out what happened before and after After.

The variety is wide. There are some that were good, but were too science fiction for my taste- no fault of the story, I just don't love science fiction. Some were too high fantasy for me as well. Again, good writing, just not
Sep 20, 2015 NEATE rated it really liked it
After is a collection of dystopian and post-apocalyptic stories that are great for young adults. They ponder great questions about where are we going and how are we getting there. -Sarah L.
Dystopia is one of my favourite genres, but for some reason, I just can't get into any of the stories in this book. I think I'll put it down for now and maybe come back to it at another time.
Apr 02, 2013 TheSaint rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian, ya
A little uneven, but the best stories are truly top-notch.
Any writer who wants to take a stab at non-standard English should read the Gregory Maguire super-short offering. It doesn't get really creepy till the last paragraph, but it makes you want to read the whole thing over again.
I also liked Caitlin R. Kiernan's exploration of a world where nanobots were pressed into service to feed 9 billion earthlings, but spectacularly over-promised and under-delivered. At least there weren't 9 billion of
Nov 08, 2014 Penny rated it really liked it
A really nice mix of apocalypse and dystopia stories. A few of them I would love to see expanded into full novels!
A mild 3 stars. There was no story that really stood out; nor was there any story that really stank.
Sep 29, 2015 Lgoldberg19 rated it really liked it
“After” is a collection of 19 short stories written by different authors. The stories are all different, but they all have one underlying question, “What happens after the world ends?” These stories all end very abruptly and don't really explain anything. They are all also really creepy.

I largely enjoyed how “After” was written, the writing was very clear and easy to understand, but there were a few moments where I was disappointed. There was one story where I didn't understand what was happenin
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Ellen Datlow has been an award-winning editor of short science fiction, fantasy, and horror for over twentyfive years.

She is editor of the Best Horror of the Year and has edited or co-edited a large number of award-winning original anthologies. Her most recent are Supernatural Noir, Naked City, Blood and Other Cravings, The Beastly Bride, Teeth, Trolls Eye View, and After (the last three with Ter
More about Ellen Datlow...

Other Books in the Series

Across the Universe (3 books)
  • Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)
  • A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)
  • Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)

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“I was taught that the villagers and the slum dwellers were like animals,” she said. “It was the responsibility of people of the educated classes to see to it rules were followed and order maintained. Animals can’t think for themselves. Animals have no feelings.” 0 likes
“We started as accidents,” he continues, behind her. “Leftovers. Microbes in a digital sea. We fed on interrupted processes, interrupted conversations, grew, evolved. The first humans we merged with were children using a public library network too ancient and unprotected to keep us out. Nobody cared if poor children got locked away in institutions, or left out on the streets to shiver and starve, when they started acting strange. No one cared what it meant when they became something new—or at least, not at first. We became them. They became us. Then we, together, began to grow.” 0 likes
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