Tina's Reviews > Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
by John Joseph Adams (Goodreads Author) , Cory Doctorow, George R.R. Martin, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, Stephen King (Goodreads Author), Gene Wolfe , more…Orson Scott Card, Paolo Bacigalupi (Goodreads Author), M. Rickert (Goodreads Author) …less
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 don't want to type out all the long titles.
King - To be honest, I didn't read this one because I had *just* watched the video adaptation last week, and I was too excited to get to the stuff I hadn't read before.
Card - This story, unfortunately, wasn't that great. It was just kind of meh. Not bad, but nothing to write home about.
Bacigalupi - This was excellent but it almost made me cry. The implications regarding humanity and our (eventual) disconnect from nature/empathy is poignant. By far the most disturbing story in the book. Especially if you love dogs. I had to give my pug a long hug after I read it.
Rickert - This was interesting but kind of vague at the end. I'm still not sure what was actually burning. The intent of the story, to show prejudice and xenophobia, was a little too in-your-face. I prefer when writers make their societal criticism more subtle – it’s more fun that way.
Lethem - This wasn't bad, but it wasn't really post-apocalyptic. I love Lethem's novels, so I was disappointed.
Martin - This was an interesting story for sure, but it was kind of obvious - what I expected to happen, did. And, if you’ve read any of Martin’s of other stuff, you know someone is going to die. You just have to wait to see who (I guessed it though).
Buckell – This was too short! The idea was cool, but I wanted to see more about where the Zephyr went.
McDevitt – This was ok. It’s been done before in countless sci-fi shows and books, so it wasn’t really innovative. There’s a part where lightning manages to turn on a machine that’s been dead for like 100 years. I asked my boyfriend (an electrician) if this were possible. He said “it would take a miracle”, but it is plausible. I should send it to Mythbusters.
Doctorow – This was AWESOME. The pace, the concept, the setting! I work in Toronto, so the part with the CN Tower hit close to home and gave me a little shiver. This story rocked. One of the best in the collection.
Van Pelt – Interesting turn at the end that’s rife with criticism of our society’s fear of change. MUTANTS!
Kadrey – This was AWESOME too. In about four pages he managed to shove a ton of post-apocalyptic staples into the story. Cannibals! Alright!
Wells – This was interesting; not a lot of post-apoc stories focus on the rebuilding of cities and the average people. It’s always the long warrior out traveling the wastes. This was a refreshing take on the genre and well written.
Oltion – This was really funny! Probably not funny if you’re religious, but I thought it was a good. The little revelation at the end was expected though.
Wolfe – I’m not sure if this is a post-apoc story or a freakin’ ghost story. I thought it was a latter, actually, with the bus driver being some kind of Charon character. It was cool though – creepy also. Props for making me freaked out of my basement, as if I were a kid again.
Kress – This was great! The outcome of the man’s visit was what I expected – it seemed obvious to me what was going to happen with the disease (it was hinted at the start though, for those who were paying attention) – but the way it was written made me forget that I’d already figured it out. And the ending didn’t follow my assumptions.
Bear – I have this in another collection, but that doesn’t stop it from being awesome. I love the setting, the characters (Nick!), and I have a Kawasaki too. Not a huge one like hers though. I like how is reacts almost like an animal.
Butler – I’ll definitely read more of her stories. This one was great – I had no idea what was going to happen and I love post-apoc stories that don’t explain how or why the calamity occurred.
Emshwiller – Greed and envy are still major players in society, even when there’s barely anything to own. The ending made me laugh, specifically the last line.
Barrett – Absurdity in post-apoc is one of my favorite styles. This story was so tongue-in-cheek funny, with crazy characters and situations. A nice comic relief!
Bailey – This was HILARIOUS. The humour is very dark and probably offensive to a lot of people, but I laughed my ass off. The explanation of the 3 different types of post-apoc citizens made my day!
Grigg – Meh. It’s been done.
Langan – Truthfully I didn’t finish this. I just don’t like when the writing is so squished! Use a freakin’ paragraph once and awhile! Sheesh!
So yeah, if you love post-apoc literature, or even post-apoc anything (whether video games like Fallout or movies like Book of Eli), then you’ll like this book. Half of the stories are fun, the other half are allegories or social critiques of society today.
Also, there’s a FURTHER READING at the back with a TON of post-apoc titles! W00t!