Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse (Wastelands #1)
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,...more
Adams wisely chooses Stephen King's "The End of the Whole Mess" as an opener and moves into all manner of exciting territory from there. Wastelands is the expected mix of strong (and some average) short stories; most of them have a high re-read score and there is an good mix of diverse ideas and themes that keep within the central focus.
THAT SAID: if y...more
Stephen King: The End of the Whole Mess. This is actually my very first exposure to Stephen King, unless you count watching movies based on his books. And I'm just not that impressed; so far this i...more
The End of the Whole Mess by Stephen King: Reviewers keep talking about what a great story this was to open the collection. Nope. It's crap.
Waiting for the Zephyr by Tobias S. Buckell: This was a really short and seemingly inoffensive story about a girl trying to escape her family and get on a wind-driven landship out of town, but I hated it. I don't even really know why. It was like 4 pages long but it managed to infuriate me anyway.
Salvage by Orson Scott Card: Mormon propaganda.
Starred Review. 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 t
So I picked up Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse after a recommendation from a friend. The book is a collection of short stories that run the gamut from Nuclear Apocalypse, to Viral, and on. A veritable litany of it's the end of th...more
Salvage by Orson Scott Card
The People of Sand and Slag by Paolo Bacigalupi
Bread and Bombs by M. Rickert
How We Got In Town and Out Again by Jonathan Lethem
Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels by George R. R. Martin
Waiting for the Zephyr by Tobias S. Buckell
Never Despair by Jack McDevitt
When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth by Cory Doctorow
The Last of the O-Forms by James Van Pelt
Still Life With Apocalypse by Richard Kadrey
Artie’s Angels by Catherine Wells
Judgment Passed b...more
Stephen King sets the mood with 'The End Of The Whole Mess', a tragic ta...more
In particular I loved George R. R. Martin's 'Dark Dark Were the Tunnels', which sparked a strong interest to seek out his other pre-Game-of-Thrones SF, and Gene Wolfe's 'Mute'. The latter is the crown jewel of this collection (and I'll be reading more from him, especially sin...more
I'm a little unsure of how to rate this book as I didn't quite finish it. I am not very good at sticking with short story compilations, I'm much better at staying with a novel because there's so much more invested in it.
I got the book because it ha...more
I also have to take exception to the word "Apocalypse" to describe these stories. Of the 22 stories included, only a very few (such as Stephen King's "The End of the Whole Mess) are actually end-of-the-world stories. I assume many will argue that we've come to...more
I have only encountered 2 of the stories before: Orson Scott Card's Salvage fromThe Folk of...more
Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels by George R. R. Martin
To quote Spock, "PAIN!"
And the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth Bear
Yes, I liked Damnation Alley, too. Still, I found it enjoyable and well-written short story.
Speech Sounds by Octavia E. Butler
I have never read her before, and I didn't expect to care for her style or content (since I am usually a male chauvinist pig with regards to fiction authors), but I was quite taken by this story.
Judgment Passed by Jerry Oltion
Parental neglect on a bib...more
john joseph adams did a really good job picking stories for his anthology AND he did a good job explaining why those stories were there. i've read more than one anthology that appeared to have no rhyme or reason to the stories it contai...more
I almost gave up on this book. The first two stories were the weaker efforts from the most recognizable writers (Yes, I’m pointing at you Mr. Card). I’d read the Stephen King story before so I didn’t even bother with that one – it wasn’t his worst but definitely not his best. Those were followed by a couple more stories that I found to more or less “blah”/forgettable. Persistence paid off though, i.e. I worked m...more
What could be better than a collection of short stories about life after the end of the world? How about a collection of stories which are all great, which is unfortunately not what you get with this book. Indeed, sadly typical of such collections, the stories are of widely varying quality:
The End of the Whole Mess by Stephen King – When he is bad, he is really bad. This is way too cutesy, way too corney and way too dated. Read anything from Nightshift instead.
Like all anthologies, it has its hits and misses. I happen to be a big fan of the opening story b...more
This is a really good collection. Not all of them were to my taste. Orson Scott Card felt the need to write out his Mormonism, and I can't tell you how much I don't care. The last story, "Episode Seven" by John Langan, was such a mix of style and two page long...more
WOW! I loved this book! LOVED IT. I'm not usually one for story collections, (I find that the editor often includes some crappy stories as fluff to the good ones) but I can say that almost every single story in this anthology is well-worth the read. I'm going to actually go through and give my review of each story in the collection, because I loved this book that much. So, there are mild SPOILERS below! Not really, actually. I’m pretty good.
I'm going to list them by the author's last name, as I...more
"Still Life with Apocalypse" by Richard Kadrey - Short but not at all sweet. Will the last person on the planet please turn off the lights?
"Speech Sounds" by Octavia E. Butler - Through some unknown disease, humanity has lost the ability to speak or read. Those who can still communicate hide their secret away from...more
As with any collection, some stories will speak to you more than others. Individually, the following stories stood out as exceptional to me:
• "The People of Sand and Slag" (Paolo Bacigalupi)
One of the bleakest futures depicted in the anthology. It's been a long time since a story invoked such a strong emotion from...more
-The End of the Whole Mess, Stephen King. Very good one by the master.
-Bread and Bombs, M. Rickert. Disturbing story that I had to read twice to understand what the kids did.
-The Last of the O-Forms, James Van Pelt. I saw the ending coming but I didn't care. Good story.
-Mute, Gene Wolfe. In my quest to find a Gene Wolfe story I resonate with, this came closest so far. The last paragraph in this story...more