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The End is Nigh

(The Apocalypse Triptych #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,892 ratings  ·  295 reviews
Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight agai
ebook, 350 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Broad Reach Publishing (first published February 27th 2014)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  2,892 ratings  ·  295 reviews

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Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of apocalypse and short stories
Find this review (and others) at

Oh apocalypse, how you fascinate us. There’s probably been doomsayers since the beginning of time, but it seems like you’ve really come into your own in the era of climate change, burgeoning population and widespread weaponry. The End is Nigh is the first book in a three-part series edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey (of Wool fame) is centered around the events leading up to apocalypse scenarios. I came at this seri
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Full disclosure - I got a review copy of this in audiobook form when John Joseph Adams contacted the review coordinator at SFFAudio, me! I snapped it up because I already own many of his anthologies and reading The Wastelands changed my reading life.

Table of contents and audiobook narrator listings copied directly from John Joseph Adams' website. If you want more detailed summaries of each story, I found the review at Tangent very good, particularly because it is so hard to keep track of short s
Althea Ann
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you liked John Joseph Adams' 'Wastelands' anthology; then this one is a must. The stories range from good to excellent.
This is an independently released anthology, but it's got the right names behind it and I'd expect it to succeed, because this is a fully professional, high-quality collection.

**** The Balm and the Wound—Robin Wasserman
A cult leader is adept at providing platitudes and fleecing his flock. But after his young son is dropped off at his place; the leader, along with the rest of
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent anthology with an interesting premise: it's the first of three planned anthologies, but with a twist. All the stories in this one (the first) are set in the time just before an apocalyptic event. The second anthology will be continuations of the first set of stories and will be set DURING the above-mentioned apocalyptic events, while the third anthology will be the end of the stories, set AFTER the events. So in effect, this is the first book in a trilogy of trilogies. Kudos ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Let's just say I've finished this book. I haven't read all the stories, I had to give up after reading so many bad ones.. I've been trying to get through this book for a week, so I decided what I read was enough.

One of my favourite story was Removal Order by Tananarive Due, it broke my heart and then I had nightmares, my favourite combo.. I have to check out her other works! My absolute favourite was - not surprisingly - Spores by Seanan McGuire. I will have to get the other two books just for h
Carolyn F.
Anthology. I'm going to read each author's work in this triptych. Starting with Volume 1, then Volume 2 and lastly Volume 3. I'm hoping that each story will give an extension of the beginning story.

3.89 stars average. Most of these stories were 4 or 5 stars. I would definitely recommend this book.

1. The Balm and the Wound by Robin Wasserman. A con-man is right and his unknown young son ends up being just what his cult needed. Loved this story, which I didn't think I would because I thought it w
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review for Seanan McGuire's "Spores" which ... 0.0
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some people may think what I have written are *spoilers*. Gave a very brief overview and my thoughts on the stories.

This anthology is the best I have read. In any book with so many stories, some hit the mark, some don't. There is a little bit for everyone. I feel lucky that the first few stories I chose to read were really great. That is what kept me involved and reading "just one more" before putting it down for the night.

Although I am still working my way through, I wanted to comment on certa
The ideea of this three volume Anthology is great, to have three storie connected and to report the things before, in, and after a special apocalyptic event, but the texts, unfortunately, aren`t on the same level.

The first half was quite boring and I was very close to let it go.

But, in the end, I could find some interesting texts, but, still, I don`t thing that it will be a powerful factor to convince me to try the second volume of the series.

Dancing with the dead in the land of Nod, Will McInto
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm a huge fan of Adams' anthologies and of apocalyptic fiction, and I love the idea of this triptych that will show three different aspects of The End: before, during, and after. So, needless to say, I was very excited going in. However, I thought this one was kind of mediocre. I mean, I liked enough of the stories that I don't regret reading it and will probably read the next ones, but there were enough mediocre/crappy ones to make this first anthology as a whole rather underwhelming. Besides ...more
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-kinde
Some of these stories were great. Some I didn’t like but read all the way through anyways.
Kate Jonez
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful anthology and a great idea for a collection. While some stories were stronger than others, no story was a miss. Recommended for readers who enjoy apocalyptic fiction. I can't wait to read the next installment!
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
this is a great collection of short pre-apocalyptic stories, and i love the concept of the triptych. there were a small number toward the end that didn't appeal to me personally, but i could easily see them appeal to others. overall this collection is well curated and the breadth of end-of-the-world topics is impressive. like, really impressive.

these aren't really spoilers, but some plot lines are vaguely outlined within these individual reviews so if you don't want to know anything stop readin
Carolyn F.
I read this as part of The End is Nigh.

A techo nut sets off an EMP so that the world will be reset with him and his kind as the leaders. The people that try to stop him have another idea. Really good story. 4 stars.
Captain Doomsday
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Please note that this review is a modified version from my blog After The Last Day.

The End Is Nigh is an anthology of short stories by some very talented writers, edited by anthology guru John Joseph Adams and independent author Hugh Howey (of Wool fame - which I'll hopefully get around to recommending one day). Here's the full list of writers :Robin Wasserman, Desirina Boskovich, Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu, Jake Kerr, Tananarive Due, Tobias S. Buckell, Jamie Ford, Ben H. Winters, Hugh Howey h
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The End is Nigh edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey
Published by Broad Reach Publishing, March, 2014

I picked this book up as my March prime selection since I’ve read various collections edited by Adams in the past and I like Howey as an author. In the end, I’m glad I did.

This is a collection of short stories about the apocalypse – about many different apocalypses – about just about every conceivable type of apocalypse out there. There are religious based ones, pandemics, asteroids, nuclear
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Uniformly wonderful anthology of stories dealing with the time shortly before the apocalypse. Each author tackles the subject with his or her own unique vision -- if you'd told me there would be so many different ways to envision the world ending, I'm not sure I would have believed you. Every single story is good, although some resonated with me more than others.

"Wedding Day" by Jake Kerr is a favorite for personal reasons -- I'm married to the author. That in no way takes away from the praise
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: apocalyptic fiction fans & science fiction fans
Great short stories and most left me wanting to see the next chapter (so here's hoping all of these have continuations in the book two of the Apocalypse Triptych: The End is Now). Some of these are more haunting than others but all had me by the throat by the end and I don't yet want to look away. I was already very familiar with the writings of Robin Wasserman, Hugh Howey, Will McIntosh and Nancy Kress so the rest here were good exposure to new to me authors. Definitely recommended & I went rig ...more
Leah Polcar
Must say, I expected a bit more out of this anthology given Adams was editing. This is no The Living Dead. While there are some inspired choices for contributors -- for example, Ben Winters -- none of the stories stuck out as special. Two mehs up.
Michael Adams
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Creepy tale of a an ancient form of decay made pestilential by modern scientific means.
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey have edited the glorious anthology, The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych) (Volume 1). The idea is that the first anthology deals with the events leading up to the apocalypse. The second deals with the apocalypse itself. And the third deals with the post-apocalypse. Some authors have linked stories in more than one of the anthologies; others don’t. These stories are meant to stand alone, and thankfully they succeed in that.

I have two definite favorite stories
Jun 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Lee
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating an anthology is always a difficult thing to do, but in the case of The End is Nigh I feel quite confident to give this book the full five stars.

The anthology is a collection of short stories looking the "pre-apocalypse." The stories don't concern people picking out a living from the nuclear fallout, but instead the ominous and tense moments that lead up to the end. This obviously informed the title.

As I sit here reading over the index I cannot recall any of these stories being poor. Eac
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Uneven (as is common for collections.)

I think I might have given it 5 stars if we weren't living in such a dark timeline right now. The ones that were about disease, war, and general uprising by the masses were a little on the nose to be truly enjoyable.

The creeping moss and astroids were good fun though.

Probably will tune in to the next one too...but not for a while.
Traci Loudin
I haven't read the other two (The End is Now or The End Has Come) yet, but I'm willing to bet this is the most depressing of the three. That's because each story ends just before the apocalypse truly starts. You can see that someone's struck a match while standing in gasoline... but you don't know if they survive it, or if they do, what horrors await. I think leaving it up to my imagination might be worse in many cases. I'll be interested to see if the other anthologies pick up right where these ...more
Bryan Alexander
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gothic, sf, postapocalypse
Why does the end of the world appeal to us so strongly? It may be the sheer aesthetic jolt of wiping away civilization, or the schadenfreude of witnessing the suffering and defeat of those you despise (cf Tertullian). There's a Robinson Crusoe adventure aspect, too, where we envision how we'd fare in extreme circumstances. And the politics of seeing a hated order collapse.

The The End Is Nigh anthology takes us up to that spectacular point, then pauses. Stories begin in our world or a related one
Timothy Pecoraro
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just didn't hold my interest, can't remember when I stopped reading this but it was quite a while ago. It makes a great start but doesn't deliver, at least it didn't for me.
Aaron Bellamy
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
As far as collections go, the End is Nigh is one of the better non-best-of-year ones that I’ve read. The stories are consistently good, with no outright fails, and many that stand out as exceptional. Conceptually, the Apocalypse Triptych, of which the End is Nigh is volume one, is ingenious. I especially liked the promise that several of the authors would have stories in the other two volumes, detailing the ‘during’ and ‘after’ timelines. However, this backfired somewhat… though not abysmally so ...more
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This was a great idea for an anthology. I love reading short stories, but with the best of them, there's always that moment where you ask, "But then what?" Here there's some hope of an answer as several of the contributors agreed to write two more related stories, so the books are pre-apocalypse, mid-apocalypse, and post-apocalypse. I'd already read short stories from most of the writers having read several of John Joseph Adams' other anthologies, and I was pleased with the overall quality ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The End is Nigh is the first of what is called The Apocalypse Triptych - three anthologies that each cover three apocalyptic points in time - before, during, and after "the apocalypse" that affects the world as we know it. Some of these apocalypses (?) are modern-day; some are in the future. Thankfully, the stories tend away from zombie and robot, but there are definitely technology and medical apocalypses (is that a word?) that are portrayed.

The genius of this anthological series is that the ed
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (consisti ...more

Other books in the series

The Apocalypse Triptych (3 books)
  • The End is Now (The Apocalypse Triptych, #2)
  • The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych, #3)

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