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The Change


4.14  ·  Rating details ·  614 ratings  ·  66 reviews
by S.M. Stirling, Harry Turtledove, Walter Jon Williams, John Birmingham, John Barnes, Jane Lindskold, and more...

S. M. Stirling’s New York Times bestselling Novels of the Change have depicted a postapocalyptic wasteland in which all modern technology has been left in ashes, forcing humankind to rebuild an unknowable new world in the wake o
Hardcover, 627 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Ace Books
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Teri Do you mean aside from the other books in Stirling's Emberverse series? I think the adventures of Orlaith and Reiko will be continuing. Or do you mean…moreDo you mean aside from the other books in Stirling's Emberverse series? I think the adventures of Orlaith and Reiko will be continuing. Or do you mean Emberverse stories by other authors? If so, I agree that more would be good.(less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Kathy Davie
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
An anthology of sixteen short stories in the Emberverse apocalyptic science fiction series and revolving around a world that fell apart technologically. If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Emberverse books on my website.

Do read the Introduction if the concept of world building appeals to you. Stirling has written about what inspired him to create his Emberverse and how to make it real. I love that bit he writes of making that world feel "big". There's also a thought-pro
The latest in S.M. Stirling's long running and highly entertaining Emberverse series is "The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth". Like just about every other short story collection I've read, "The Change" contains some good stories, some okay stories and a couple great stories. The introduction by Stirling was a very interesting perspective into the author's thought process in developing the setting of his series. I thought "Bernie, Lord of the Apes", "The Seeker: A Poison in the Blood", "The ...more
Peter Aronson
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty strong collection, with only a few weaker entries. The only thing I could have asked for is less stories set at the time of The Change (yes, it's in the title, but) and more set in the fascinating cultures that rose afterwards. I found these stories: Against the Wind; Rate of Exchange; Demons of Witmer Hall; Bernie, Lord of the Apes; The Seeker: A Poison in the Blood; The Venetian Dialectic; and Deor particularly stuck with me, but I liked (more or less) pretty much everything. (And I a ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I dropped the Change series midway through. Loved it early on, but it got too dense and too mystical. My husband brought home this book, and it took me a little bit to get past the first few stories. But there were several I loved. I especially enjoyed stories from different parts of the world and from different perspectives. Loved seeing familiar SF names in the mix. I hope they continue to write on this theme!
Inconsistent but that's to be expected. No absolute stinkers though. Unfortunately also no incredibly amazing winners that just step out of the world. Most of the stories have kind a smell to them of the author stepping in to the writing and writing themselves into the world - and that's not including the one in which the author actually did write herself in. Part of what works in the series is that Stirling doesn't nearly as obviously do that. And then there was Bernie, Lord of the Apes. At lea ...more
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Because it is an anthology that is the average score. Some of the stories are better than three and a few are worse and some are threes. S M's story which leads off the book is one which features characters we are familiar with from the Emberverse series. None of the other stories use any familiar characters. My favorite of the others is "Bernie, Lord of the Apes" It has characters I'd like to read more about. The last story, "Deor" also has characters that I'd like to see again.
Taylor Ellwood
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is anthology set in the emberverse universe. I thought the various stories were fascinating to read and I enjoyed each author's take on the emberverse and the various surviving cultures. If you enjoy the change series, you'll love this anthology.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Needs culling. And at well over 600+ pages, could have easily afforded it. A few 5 stars shine. Way too many 2 and 3 star stories drag those down.
Since Emberverse is not a “shared universe”, I’ll admit to approaching The Change with a certain amount of trepidation. Overall, I enjoyed the mix of short stories as other authors tackled Stirling’s post-apocalypse setting. These tales covered a range of times (from at or just before “the Change” to three generations later) and locations (some in areas already dealt with in the earlier novels – Oregon, California, England, Utah -, others in Alaska, North Dakota, Florida, Louisiana, Colorado, Ne ...more
Jason Bloom
Stories from the world of The Change, S.M. Stirling's post-apocalyptic landscape where technology no longer works, swords and armor are the new height of warfare, and it now takes months on horseback to travel anywhere. A world slowed down, it seems that violence sped up, and many of these stories extend or explore areas we are familiar with from the books. Especially for fans of the novels, these stories can also act as appetizers for new readers, although I certainly wouldn't recommend it. Rea ...more
Nathan Miller
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite things about Stirling's Emberverse is that there's plenty of room in the proverbial sand box for the rest of us to play around. This is a collection of essentially fanfiction stories set in that world. Some entries take place at the time of the Change event, others some years or even decades later. We even meet some characters who appear in the canonical novels. As one should expect, there's a wide variety of writing styles, and I liked some stories far better than others and ...more
Erick Mertz
Excellent read. Top notch. This book captures a cataclysmic (although strangely vague) event, creates a post-apocalyptic world and then gives a whole batch of great authors the opportunity to play around and explore it. I love the blend of fantasy and science fiction, with some downright solid writing.

This was my first foray into the Emberverse. I have never read any of the "Change" books or stories, so the mythology is new/strange to me. However, this was an absolutely fine place to jump in and
Fredrick Danysh
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Stirling created an alternative universe for his Change series in which a giant EMP sets back the world resulting in millions of deaths. The survivors adapt by reverting of old methods and traditions in small tribes. The Change is a collection of short stories of the early years following the event written by various writers making for interesting reading.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent addition to the series

This collection of short stories widens the world of the Change and gives a glimpse into those areas that the author has not made it himself
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent anthology with many different visions of a post-Change world. I really enjoyed this.
Marc Ruvolo
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Love the Change series, but these stories written by other authors in the Change Universe are just meh for the most part. Still entertaining , but...
David Houston
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting. Lots of different perspectives from different authors on things that could happen after the Change.
Larry Wegman
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Joe Lambert
Shelves: science-fiction
Stories set in Stirling's Emberverse. Varying quality - I especially like the one that got into some of the science of how the Change worked.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some were hard to remember they are part if the Emberverse. Some were quite good.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
nearly all of the stories were interesting. All hued to the "Change" world. Some were serious , some were amusing.
Matt Mitrovich
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted here:

I am a big fan of SM Stirling’s Emberverse series, so of course I was excited when I learned he was releasing a shared anthology set in his post-apocalyptic/fantasy universe full of magical realism. This isn’t the first such anthology Stirling has released (see Drakas!) or the first time works besides those written by him have been accepted as canon into the Emberverse (see the official fan fiction site), but this is the firs
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good reading.
Tom Kepler
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Alternative history and speculative fiction author S.M. Stirling has published soon-to-be twelve books from his "Emberverse" world where in 1998, the "lights went out" and the laws of nature change, setting the world back to where only Middle Ages technology was functional. Now Stirling has edited and shared a short story along with fifteen other established writers in the anthology The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth.

It would be fair to say that the sixteen short stories add just as much
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just to be clear the only thing written by Mr. Stirling in this book is the introduction. I have to say that the intro is well worth reading to get a sense of the Emberverse series overall.

I will be honest, I didn't recognize any of the authors. I don't usually read much fantasy and so I kind of went in without a "favorite" that I really wanted to read. I more wanted to get glimpses of what may be going on in other parts of the Emberverse world.

The stories take place all over the world. From th
Dan Pepper
May 28, 2015 rated it liked it
The series of stories set in S.M. Stirling's Emberverse was honestly better than I thought. Stirling's a better world builder than a writer, so it's a good idea to let some others play in his world.

A few standouts were Bernie, Lord of the Apes by John Joseph Miller-a fun pastiche of a well-known character, The Hermit and the Jackalopes by Jane Lindskold which stood out as a good central character and a neat setting, The Venetian Dialectic by Walter Jon Williams was a great story ruthless Veneti
Chris Bauer
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading about the Emberverse since Stirling came out with the first book in the series "Dies the Fire" and have been hopelessly addicted since. Granted there have been 11 novels since that first book and much has Changed (see what I did there?) since then, but the series remains one of my favorites.

In the anthology "The Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth" it seems as though the author has gathered up his most trusted friends who happen to be amazing storytellers, given them the seri
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I checked to see if the new Change novel was out in September, it was not yet but this one was available and I hadn't read it, so I picked it up to tide me over. That was a great decision on my part, and I enjoyed all of the stories in this book. There's a wide variety in this compilation, all written by various authors and covering points from just after the Change through to the "present day" of the Change series, although many of the "present day" ones also included history of that locat ...more
Luke Turpeinen
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read the first three Change books (the Dies the Fire trilogy) but I didn't really have much interest in following the story line of later books. There's a quest for a magic sword which ties the series more closely to the Island in the Sea of Time trilogy (which is amazing), but following the Hero's Journey of a white male Chosen One and King of All The Places and Unifier of the Realms, etc etc seemed a little too much in the "contrived fantasy" genre. So, instead I skipped all of that and just ...more
As such collections are, this was a rather mixed bag. No bad stories, though a few seemed overly predictable. Some of the entries seemed to play a bit loose with the post-change die off, contradicting the vision of nearly universal desolation from the books. Of course, we're getting perspectives from outside Montival or the Upper Midwest for pretty much the first time, it shouldn't be surprising that two of the luckiest areas in North America (post-change) might have a slightly jaundiced view of ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't often give a book five stars, but every story in this collection is note-perfect. I've often wondered what other authors might do with the Emberverse, and this book showed me, in spades. The book launches with a story from Mr. Stirling, about Princess Orlaith and her friend Heuradys before the events of 'The Given Sacrifice'. There are some standouts here, from Diana Paxson and Victor Milan. I was particularly surprised by how well a story by John Birmingham works (he ports a trio of cha ...more
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Stephen Michael Stirling is a French-born Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. Stirling is probably best known for his Draka series of alternate history novels and the more recent time travel/alternate history Nantucket series and Emberverse series.

(personal website: source)

I’m a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalizat

Other books in the series

Emberverse (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Dies the Fire (Emberverse, #1)
  • The Protector's War (Emberverse, #2)
  • A Meeting at Corvallis (Emberverse, #3)
  • The Sunrise Lands (Emberverse, #4)
  • The Scourge of God (Emberverse, #5)
  • The Sword of the Lady (Emberverse, #6)
  • The High King of Montival (Emberverse, #7)
  • The Tears of the Sun (Emberverse, #8)
  • Lord of Mountains (Emberverse, #9)
  • The Given Sacrifice (Emberverse, #10)

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