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The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,200 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Before The Road by Cormac McCarthy brought apocalyptic fiction into the mainstream, there was science fiction. No longer relegated to the fringes of literature, this explosive collection of the world’s best apocalyptic writers brings the inventors of alien invasions, devastating meteors, doomsday scenarios, and all-out nuclear war back to the bookstores with a bang.

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Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published July 8th 2010 by Skyhorse
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Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My existential floundering continues, doubt and fatigue shove me towards philosophy, little else. A friend suggested good music and housework. My wife shrugged. I put the iPod on shuffle --for hours. I then read all of this collection. It reminded me of the Rod Serling marathons that happen over the holidays. I can see the appeal of Neil Gaiman but will make no effort. Perhaps I am looking for community. Perhaps I should trawl the recesses of group reads. Currently my end of the world is exclusi ...more
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For an anthology this was rather good with more good stories than bad ones which makes a change on the anthologies i have read of late. Which seem to be for the editors enjoyment and no one else's. Some of them have interesting takes on the end of the world and the stories aren't to boring or repetitive. ...more
Sep 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed. I liked a few of the stories but had to skip a bunch because they were boring or incomprehensible. And two of them were practically identical. Not worth the time spent.
Michael Allan Leonard
Anthologies are always a mixed bag, and themed ones have a particular hurdle: how many stories do you really want to read about the same topic? In this case, it's the end of the world, and I love apocalyptic fiction, so bring it on.

There's a few truly memorable and haunting moments here -- a lot of cautionary post-atomic sci-fi horror but nary a zombie in sight -- but my favorite is the final entry, a novella by Poul Anderson, 'Flight to Forever', in which two amateur scientists hop in their DI
Jun 08, 2014 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
I read the first three stories and part of the fourth and gave up. None of them grabbed my attention and the editing of the e-book was terrible. Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse is a much better bet for a solid collection of apocalypse stories. ...more
I have been reading this in a hospital waiting room, even though I started it about 4 months ago. I've rated each story so when I have time I need to go back and average them, but overall, I didn't love it. It may warrant more than two stars, but this was not a glowing example of apocalyptic fiction! ...more
Uneven, as a lot of these anthologies are. Several of the stories are really excellent, a few are meh. It lost a star for being in the top 5 worst e-book editions I've ever seen - chockablock full of typos, bad formatting and spaces in the middle of words. ...more
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this for the Neil Gaiman story. There were a few other decent stories, but on the whole the collection was meh. And the Kindle version had a ton of typos.
Og Maciel
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this collection of short stories. All but maybe two of them are highly entertaining and reminders of just how fragile our coexistence with our home planet is.
Anniken Haga
This book has been a long time reading!
I bought it around the time I got my Kindle, some 2 1/2 years ago, and it's been hanging out in my library ever since. Finally, I got around to starting it a while back, but it has taken me at least 2 month to get through all the stories in it.

As far as I can remember - thank the stars I write individual reviews when reading anthologies, or I wouldn't remember at all! - I haven't always been that impressed with this collection, but it did have some pearls.
Debbie P
Held my interest, found the last two to be the best. Scans decades of apocalyptic stories from the 1950's to the 21st century.
Would recommend for anyone interested in this style
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Average total of 2.77 so I guess I'm rounding it up to a 3 star rating. This was a pretty mediocre collection of stories and I will admit there were not too many that really impressed me, but the Gaiman was superb, and a few others that I thought were good. Most of this collection was average and or poor. ...more
Peggy Coquet
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story or two, some very good stories, and a clunker or two for balance. If you're a sci-fi fan, this is a good round-up of a particular slice of the genre. ...more
Beverly Laude
I will admit that I did not finish this book. I skipped a couple of the stories because they just didn't grab my attention. Others had horrible endings; in fact, I really didn't realize they were finished until the next story started. That one thing seemed to be a theme for most of these stories. As with most anthologies, there were a lot of stories that seemed to be filler instead of being selected for their quality. Or, maybe they were selected for the author. I'm not sure.

There were a couple
I just downloaded this free from Amazon and I was thinking about reading it but I refuse to read a collection of short stories that’s almost all by men.
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
A really interesting collection of apocalypse stories. Some were downright creepy. Others were familiar. I do think the last story reminded me of the Time Traveller.
This collection needs some editing (lots of typos, probably from the conversion to Kindle), but it has some great classics. Most were entertaining, but some were rather bland. I had also read three of the stories before in other collections.

"The Hum" by Rick Hautala. 2 out of 5 stars. So the collection does not start out so great. A barely audible humming is slowly driving the world's population insane. Turns out its the sky grinding to a halt. Yes, this is what I call a "punch line" story. The
Brian Palmer
An anthology needs rated on two parts: firstly, how were the individual stories? and secondly, how does the anthology do about pacing them, contextualizing them, and so forth. The stories ranged from weak to great, but concentrated in the good category; I'll include
1. The Hum by Rick Hautala.
2. Salvador by Lucius Shepard.
3. We Can Get Them For You Wholesale by Neil Gaiman.
4. The Big Flash by Norman Spinrad
5. Kindness by Lester del Rey
6. The Underdweller by William F. Nolan
7. Lucifer by Roger Z
Michael Smith
Greenberg has been enormously prolific over the years as an anthologist of short-form science fiction and fantasy, and he can usually be depended upon for a thematic collection that will hold your interest. The theme here is just what it says: The many ways in which the world -- or at least human civilization -- might end, whether with a bang or a whimper, and what comes after. Always assuming there is an “after.” There’s the classic “last man on Earth” trope, and the difference between immediat ...more
Ben Nash
The collection is filled with mostly good (3 star) stories. There were a few better-than-good (4 star) and one less than good (2 star) stories.

A broad range of time is represented here in relation to the stories published. Neil Gaiman's is a fun story from earlier in his career, and Martin's shows how far he's come. Swanwick's gives an interesting view of a future reaching back and reminded me of Wolfe's Seven American Nights. As much as Card rubs me the wrong way as a person, his stories (the o
Like any anthology, this one had some hits and some misses. Also like any anthology, that isn't as important as the logic behind which stories were included. This is a very good overview of the genre, from pre-Cold War stories to modern stuff. Some have been seen in other anthologies but some were completely new to me.

The ordering of these stories made sense. I liked that the editor separated the book into sections like "The Last Man", "Life After the End", and "Dark, Distant Futures".

This anth
Daniel Weir
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From Neil Gaiman's off-putting short story about hiring assassins to Poul Anderson's longer but no less captivating story about time travel, this collection does not disappoint. There are stories by legendary sci-fi writers Arthur C. Clarke and Robert Silverberg, as well as an eerie tale by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. There are cautionary stories like Norman Spinrad's "The Big Flash" and Lucius Shepherd's "Salvador". There are also sad stories about what life might be like after a ...more
Kerry Dustin
End of the World. Most people would react to an anthology some stories are good, others are not. This particular anthology is the same, some stories were unique and worth the read, the others are just boring and nothing innovative or new. George RR Martins story is probably the best story along with "The Hum".

This book is on my shelf and would not be removed anytime soon

3 out of 5 stars for me
Ric Parks
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I've ready many of these writers and it was great to reacquaint myself with them: Zelazny, Poul Anderson, the superb Robert Silverberg, Orson Scott Card, Frederic Brown, and some other greats of the 60's and 70's plus, of course, Neil Gaiman. Perhaps the stories are a bit uneven but the quality is generally high and there wasn't a story that I didn't genuinely enjoy. ...more
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great collection of sci-fi stories of the apocalypse. They range from heartwarming, to grim, to introspective. I really enjoyed the variety of cataclysms. Many of the scenarios are ones that I never would have thought of. My only complaint is that the last short story had several typos, which were pretty annoying.
Barbara Randall
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of creative variety

Several of the stories were real gems, creative, with a take on this subject I hadn't read before. Others were downright weird. Some had confusing endings. Some were thought provoking. Nice to be able to skip the lesser ones and still have some good reading left.
Kevin Godfrey
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very Entertaining

I read this one concurrently with another book with the subject of post-apocalyptic fiction. Some of the stories overlapped but I appreciated in this book how the stories were categorized. Most of the stories were thought provoking and some were quite fantastical. I definitely recommend.
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good mix of authors and their take on different times and angles of end of the world. Some where a little hard to follow and others were very detailed and longer and those were the really good ones. If you like a book that has a good mix of authors all surrounding the same topic this is a good pick.
This collection mainly serves as an exemplar of different themes and styles of post-apocalyptica over the decades since it's peak. Meaning, if you are into the genre, you may find anything new. That being said, I've never seen anything like Helfers' 'Afterword' in a fiction collection and Gaiman's 'We Can Get them for you Wholesale' had me legitimately laughing out loud. ...more
As Apocalypse anthologies, I rank this after John Joseph Adams' two Wastelands anthologies but I would still recommend this to all fans of Apocalypse fiction. There are four stories that also appear in the Wastelands anthologies. I liked most of the stories. The one that sticks with me is "The Feast of Saint Janis." ...more
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Martin Harry Greenberg was an American academic and speculative fiction anthologist. In all, he compiled 1,298 anthologies and commissioned over 8,200 original short stories. He founded Tekno Books, a packager of more than 2000 published books. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Sci-Fi Channel.

For the 1950s anthologist and publisher of Gnome Press, see Martin Greenberg.

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