I liked the premise that the series of hurricanes leads to the zombie-like plague, and thought it was an interesting spin to use the aftermath of theI liked the premise that the series of hurricanes leads to the zombie-like plague, and thought it was an interesting spin to use the aftermath of the hurricanes as a backdrop to a zombie story, but the writing was terrible. I hated the voice of the woman protagonist, Eleanor. I think this writer just isn't skilled at capturing the female voice, and the whole angle of her difficulties with her teenage daughter did nothing for me. Also, the morality of all of the characters is all over the place. We are led to believe that her boss may be willing to do certain things to provide for his family, but that behind this he does still have a code. We are led to believe that Eleanor has a very strong sense of integrity. By the end of the story, I was baffled by the behavior of all of the characters. I also got the impression that as the writer got nearer to completing this book, he started to rush through the process and the writing just tanks. That's also when all the characters begin behaving "out of character."
I didn't expect this book to be great lit, but I was hoping for at least a nail biter. McKinney didn't deliver....more
One of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. Horrifying, yet life affirming. McCarthy reminds us of what really matters in life, beyond aOne of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. Horrifying, yet life affirming. McCarthy reminds us of what really matters in life, beyond all cliches, by stripping away layer after layer until the raw core of the human soul is revealed. ...more
I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror and Day of the Triffids feeds into my whole Omega Man/I Am Legend fixation. I've got to be honest; WynI'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic sci-fi/horror and Day of the Triffids feeds into my whole Omega Man/I Am Legend fixation. I've got to be honest; Wyndham hit the spot for me way more than Saramago whose novel Blindness was clearly Triffid inspired. And who wouldn't love a story about killer plants who can rattle-talk, pick up their roots and walk, then sting you with a venomous whip-like stamen. The book even inspired the name for an Aussie '80's band. This is classic sci-fi right up there with H.G. Wells....more
When roaming the bookstore I always have this feeling in my gut about the kind of book I really have a hankering for - my dream book so to speak. DarkWhen roaming the bookstore I always have this feeling in my gut about the kind of book I really have a hankering for - my dream book so to speak. Dark, hilarious, more than strange and downright bizarre, apocalyptic, and possessing all kinds of elements that would appeal to me specifically and all my quirky interests with creepy childhood memories thrown in to boot. Naturally, I thought I would never find this book unless I somehow acquired the talent to write it myself. Then I found Civilwarland in Bad Decline. I expected it to be good, but I didn't expect it to be THE book. Wow! After reading the very first story in the collection, I immediately had to get one of my oldest and best friends on the phone so I could squeal and gush in delight and plead with her to rush right out and buy this book. Like a love child of Breece Pancake and Kelly Link, with a sprinkling of Daniel Clowes' DNA, Saunders has hit the spot for me in a big way. The story that brought back some of the vague and creepy yet cozy childhood memories is Downtrodden Mary's Failed Campaign of Terror. That story clearly takes place in the parallel universe version of The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I know it well from countless school and family fieldtrips as a youngin', complete with fairy castle, captured German sub, simulated coal mine, and Yesteryear's Main Street (although I think it was at the Museum of Surgical Science where I saw the pickled babies.)
Anyway, I don't want to hype it too much as I'm sure it appealed to me for lots of personal reasons, but I'm sure most people would find this a highly entertaining and unusual book and for some maybe even the hot chocolate lava cake of books. ...more
If you're going to read only one Saunders book, make it CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. I liked Pastoralia, but it is a rehashing of the same themes andIf you're going to read only one Saunders book, make it CivilWarLand in Bad Decline. I liked Pastoralia, but it is a rehashing of the same themes and ideas as in the former book only without quite the same spark. It's still definitely worth reading though and artfully written. I have to say Saunders has become my favorite current day writer, even trumping such unique talents as Kelly Link which I never expected anyone to be able to do. ...more
The SciFi sub-genre of post apocalyptic stories appeals to me in a deep way and I could write a book about why I think that is, and why I think it appThe SciFi sub-genre of post apocalyptic stories appeals to me in a deep way and I could write a book about why I think that is, and why I think it appeals to so many others as well. I also love short stories, so when Stacy told me about this anthology I knew it was a must-read for me.
Overall, I'm glad I read Wastelands since I am such a fan of the genre and I liked a few of these stories quite a lot, but I also had to wade through several stories that didn't really do a whole lot for me.
Some of the highlights were The People of Sand and Slag by Paolo Bacigalupi, which actually gave me nightmares, When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth by Cory Doctorow, The Last of the O-Forms by James Van Pelt, Judgment Passed by Jerry Oltion, and Episode Seven: Last Stand Against the Pack in the Kingdom of the Purple Flowers by John Langan.
The People of Sand and Slag is about humans of the future whose physical form has changed dramatically, can grow new limbs, and can subsist on sand and mud. They encounter a feral dog, a novelty for them as they've only ever seen "bio-jobs" or animals that have been genetically altered. After reading this story I dreamt I had a pet pig that meowed like a cat.
In When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth, Computer Systems Administrators struggle to keep the internet going in the wake of a human virus that has devastated most of the population. Techno/computer geeks will find this one amusing.
The Last of the O-Forms is about a traveling zoo featuring some of the more bizarre mutated forms of animals emerging in a very toxic future world. I won't say more as doing so would give too much away, but I loved the freak show/circus aspect of this one - really creepy.
I was tickled by Judgement Passed because of my screwed-up childhood experiences attending a fundamentalist church. This story puts a very interesting spin on the idea of the second coming of Christ and brought to mind the Anita Lane song "Jesus almost got me... I don't how many prayers he overheard."
At first I was a bit annoyed with Episode Seven: Last Stand against the Pack being essentially one big run-on sentence, but it grew on me. Langan creates some pretty tense and frightening scenes, also with some gore which I didn't mind at all. I also appreciated that Langan gave the story more substance with the inclusion of how the character Wayne's love of comic books factors into his odd transformation.
For those that are big fans of the genre I'd say this collection is worthwhile, but if an apocalypse is upon us and you can only save a few books before the library burns, pass this one by and just grab all the Joseph Conrad you can carry. ...more
Okay, after re-reading Hunger Games I take back all my former complaints. Now I get it. Funny how I enjoyed it so much more the second time around aftOkay, after re-reading Hunger Games I take back all my former complaints. Now I get it. Funny how I enjoyed it so much more the second time around after a couple years' gap. Probably because of all the hype the first time. Moving on to Catching Fire. ...more