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The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  677 Ratings  ·  73 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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Paperback, 328 pages
Published July 2010 by Skyhorse Publishing
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Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
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.
Sep 02, 2016 rated it liked it
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.
Jun 08, 2014 marked it as did-not-finish
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.
Oct 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
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!
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
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.
Michael Allan Leonard
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Some of the stories were really good, some were freaky, and some were written for other authors and not for a general audience. Still, that's what you get with a collection of short stories.
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.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixed bag. Some very good stories, some not so good. Excellent choice of authors, including Gaiman, GRRM, Robert Sheckley and Lucius Shepard. All stories about the end of the world some are little endings where things just fall apart and some are very local like the revenge of a Salvadoran war victim. It was a good travel book, but I was jet lagged and am having trouble remembering some of the stories.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
Give this collection a pass. There were a couple of stories that were good, but most were just ok. None were great or "must read". I was surprised that this lineup of authors had not-so-great stories. It took me about 4 months to get through this. I kept putting it down and reading something else instead.
Sasha Sproch
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some great, some just ok

As with any collection of stories, some landed poorly and some landed well. If nothing else, read the last one. They definitely saved the best for last. (All the stories are completely unconnected, so you can read them in any order you like, and skip to the next, if one doesn't capture you.)
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books-read
So many endings

Many of the current apocalyptical stories revolve around the wars and destruction they’ll bring. So too do so many of these, but with a great variety, and not all warring.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What did I just read!?

A collection of stories about the end of the world seems like it could quickly and easily be a collection of cliché tropes. THIS is far, surprisingly far, from that! Each story felt genuine and fresh. I will definitely be rereading this !
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the better anthologies I've read recently. Recommended for those interested in post apocalyptic stories that lean a bit toward sci-fi.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some good stories in here, a few old-style. Overall a decent read.
Mark Schipper
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some good some average stories are included in this book. I really enjoyed the final story the most.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
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."
Brian Palmer
May 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
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
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalypse, anthology
The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by Martin H. Greenberg has a nice selection of stories about the Apocalypse. It is a solid selection, with some powerful stories, most notably, Lucifer by Roger Zelanzy and The Underdweller by William Nolan. The full list of stories: 1. Dancing Through the Apocalypse by Robert Silverberg 2. The Hum by Rick Hautala 3. Salvador by Lucius Shepard[return]4. We Can Get Them for You Wholesale by Neil Gaiman 5. The Big Flash by Norman .Spinrad 6. T ...more
Ben Nash
Aug 03, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the first time I've read an anthology and I can't say this was a great reading experince. Maybe an anthology isn't really my thing, but in this case the anthology also wasn't strong enough. It contained plenty of stories but it took me to the last one, "Flight to Forever" by Poul Anderson, to find a story I really liked (and even then I saw the ending coming by far). Another one I liked pretty well was the first one: "The Hum" by Rick Hautala.

There were some other nice stories, the best
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it

3.0 out of 5 stars

Short Changed Short Stories, November 22, 2014

This review is from: The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse (Kindle Edition)

I normally enjoy good short stories but I felt short changed by most of these. Maybe I was looking for more Si Fi and these stories were focused on alternative World Endings and unable to develop any "Science" in the limited time and space. There was also a greater sense of Weird that I don't normally find in typical Si Fi stories. It felt mor
Aug 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalypse, disaster
I enjoy anthologies, it gives me a chance to read new authors, and get a whole story in before bedtime so I can put the book down and go to sleep. That being said this was not my favorite set of stories. there were a few good ones but most weren't memorable. I would recommend The Apocalypse Triptych series, which is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction, exploring three different facets of the form:
THE END IS NIGH: pre-apocalyptic stories—exploring the world on the brink of colla
May 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not the collection I was hoping for. Most were fairly mediocre stories that felt rather outdated, or were simply too strange to get into, but there were a few I liked, including "The Hum" by Rick Hautala, "We Can Get Them For You Wholesale" by Neil Gaiman, and "The Wheel" by John Wyndham. The rest left me shrugging my shoulders. Oddly, the book I read before this, Stephen King's Bazaar of Bad Dreams, ended on an apocalyptic short story that was far more memorable than anything here, one called " ...more
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
Robin Edman
Nov 23, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a mixed bag, as all multiple author anthologies will tend to be. Some of the stories were four star quality; some merit a two. One of the stories was a one for me, but the beauty of an anthology is that you can just skip the bad parts. I'm not going to identify which are which for me, because that is a matter of taste, and your tastes will be different. Obviously, Mr. Greenberg liked them all. I would recommend for those who like old school sf, but not for those who follow the younger cr ...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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“The Norse myths give us a terrible frost, and in the Fimbulwinter, all living things die except a man and a woman who survive by hiding in a tree.” 1 likes
“Fire or ice, one or the other—who knows? The final word on finality is yet to be written.” 1 likes
More quotes…