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A Land of Ash

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  860 ratings  ·  98 reviews
The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue.


Lava flows stretch for hundreds of miles. A cloud of ash billows east, burying the Midwest, destroying crops, and falling upon the Atlantic Coast like a warm, dead snow. The remnants of the United States flees south as the global temperatures plummet.

Amid this total devast
Kindle Edition, 124 pages
Published November 5th 2010
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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I'd love to be able to sit down and write a glowing review about Land of Ash, as with Grants Pass. But I didn't love it. I've always had a fascination with Apocalypse, be it man-made, or Mother Nature herself visiting doom upon humanity. It must be my eschatological upbringing, but I'm a sucker for a story that asks what happens after the end of the world?

The first story of this anthology drops the reader into the middle of a last supper among friends. Except these friends feel like some of the
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Normally, when someone gives something away for free, that usually means it sucks. Sure, that couch sitting by the curb may look like a good deal, but as soon as you get it home you’ll realize that one of the cushions smells like asparagus and the other is actually a giant rectangle of matted pet hair.

But when it comes to e-books, sometimes free is good. When independent authors give away their product in the Kindle store, they’re doing it to advertise for themselves (after all, there’s no bette
Melissa Jane
What a freaking depressing book. I guess I just didn't understand what the stories would be about when I started. Not my thing and I quit reading halfway through. Too bad, because I like David Dalglish.
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an unusual anthology using the Yellowstone super-volcano and the effects of its eruption as the basis for its short fiction. Most of the stories are by David Dalglish with various writers rounding out the rest, David McAfee of 33 A.D. being the only one I've previously heard of. The short tales are quite good and are very character-driven considering the topic on hand. Also, they tend to be quite depressing with only the last story having any real sign of hope. A foreword explaining the ...more
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
HOLY CRAP! This book had me nervously looking out my window at an incoming storm cloud. What makes it so scary is how easy it is to relate to the characters in the book. It's so easy to put yourself in their shoes, to feel their same desperation and despair in a world now destroyed by ash.

This book delivers 11 gut-wrenching short stories about different people in different areas trying to survive after an eruption in Yellowstone. As you progress through the book, you find yourself at further tim
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(update on 9-13)
I had to change my mind and give this 5 stars after dreaming all day (I work nights) about different families running from the heated and heavy ash. If a book can have that kind of effect on my sleeping delusions, it fully deserves a 5 star rating.

(original post on 9-12)
Good set of apocolyptic short stories by different authors that are all tied into the same catastrophic event. If some of the stories had a bit deeper story line, it would have gotten 5 stars, but some of them ar
Joseph Mitchell
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of why I used to love reading short stories so much, and was a welcome change from the long books I've been reading lately. I particularly enjoyed David Dalglish's short called "Toward the Storm", my favorite from this collection.
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
I really enjoyed these short stories, very fast read.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read these type of books, but after reading the first story I just couldn't stop reading.
Marilyn Saul
This is a collection of eleven short stories about what people might do, encounter, endure when faced with the eruption of the Yellowstone caldera. I'm a fan of apocalyptic stories and really liked the book, with the exception of one story.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. I couldn’t put it down.....
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this book in a day, I know that's not a feat for most of you but it's pretty rare for me. I found this collection of stories to be unique and compelling. I was lead to this book by the fact that a few of the stories in it were in other collections I've read. I was not disappointed to say the least. The only thing that kept this book from 5 stars was editorial in nature, I feel this book could had done with a good quality edit as there were several grammatical and homynym related mistakes ...more
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an anthology of stories based on one premise; that the Yellowstone Caldera erupts. For those not familiar with that, Yellowstone actually sits on a huge mass of magma, and, every 600,000 years or so, it erupts. It's not just one volcano; it's a bunch of them, all erupting at the same time, all sending dense ash clouds into the air. There can be enough ash that it could have the same effects as a nuclear winter, blocking out sunlight, resulting in the death of plants and the animals that ...more
Kaethe Douglas
An anthology of stories set after the explosion of the Yellowstone supervolcano. I like the set-up, I like the deliberate tribute to the collections of Ray Bradbury, and the effort to seek out the emotionally resonant moments for people at the end of the world, and after.

But as a collection there is a negative synergy. The different characters don't seem all that different, they rather become a bland stew of white middle Americans (even the Mexican characters). The women feel secondary to the me
Dan C.
May 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
The tag line for A Land of Ash reads: The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue. It was famously (and expensively) done in Roland Emmerich's 2012, but if you believe the stories in this anthology, the movie would have been over after the eruption. All but one of the stories take place in the United States, which sees massive devastation from the ash-cloud that results from the eruption. As with most anthologies, the quality of the stories varies wil ...more
Maggie Bermann
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rune Clausen
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
The cataclysmic eruption of the Yellowstone supervulcano has occured in contemporary America, and left entire north america in ruins. This collection of short stories deals with the decisions and circumstances that the survivors are left with as they struggle to survive as anarchy has run rampant.

What justification does religion have following such an event? How do you deal with the loss of your entire immediate family, friends, everyone and everything you ever held dear, and also the troubling
So I'm a disaster/PA freak. Which doesn't stop books like these from being depressing at all.

Some time, right about now, the Yellowstone caldera explodes. This book is 11 short stories/vignettes from the initial onset of the ash to some time (not too long) afterwards.

The stories are presented in something of chronological order, each going further away from the explosion point.

None of them really connect, and to be honest, none of them are very compelling. You have anything from people facing th
"The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We're 40,000 years overdue."

With that warning, we're plunged into a world where The Yellowstone Caldera's eruption is no longer overdue. It's happened & in A Land of Ash, the survivors are dealing with the aftermath.

Each story is written by a different author about a different survivor or set of survivors. Part of what makes this work so well, aside from the smooth transition between stories & authors, is that the characters are so r
Larry McCloskey
The Yellowstone caldera has erupted, these are the stories of those living through it. Some sit back and accept their fate, some fight against it and some never knew what hit them.

The stories are uneven and, for the most part, too short. The length of each story made the book really easy to breeze through, but a lot of times, it left me wanting more at the end. Calling these short stories is generous - they're vignettes. For some - "One Last Dinner Party" and "Toward the Storm", for example - th
Apr 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book of short stories, all written on the same premise - what happens after the Yellowstone Caldera erupts? The resulting collection presents as a series of vignettes across the USA, covering a few hours after the eruption through a few months past the event. The author/editor wrote the first story "The Last Dinner Party" which is absolutely masterful, and the writing and topics touched upon in the rest of the stories live up to the promise of the first. There is hope and despair, ther ...more
high school & up

A series of short stories about what happens in the aftermath of a the eruption of a supervolcano. This supervolcano is located in Yellowstone National Park. Each story is set a little further out in time from the main eruption. The stories all have different settings and different characters but with the same focus: surviving.

I actually read this twice because I had no recollection of reading it the first time. Well, at least not based on the title alone. I remembered it once I
Sheila Myers
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Written by a handful of authors, this collection of short stories doesn't follow the same set of characters throughout the book. Instead, A Land of Ash springs at you from a variety of directions. It offers a deep and often profound look at how people might react after a natural disaster which affects an entire nation. The reader will be introduced to the characters and learn how they choose to face either life or death. I disagree with the reviews that state such things as the book is depressin ...more
Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
“The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We’re 40,000 years overdue.” Start with the assumption that this has happened and people know what’s coming – a large dust cloud traveling west to east that will kill most and throw much of the world into the equivalent of a nuclear winter. Then write a series of short stories about how people will react with contributions from a variety of writers. What a great concept.

Given the assumptions, how would you react? Would you hunker do
 Reading Reindeer
Review: A LAND OF ASH by David Dalglish

Three years ago this month I read ASHFALL, first in a trilogy by Mike Mullin about the eventual eruption of the Yelliwstone Supervolcano. Of course, in the story it's not eventual, but imminent and then actual. This well-written novel so terrified me with its implacability and realism that I hadn't read a book on the topic of the Yellowstone Supervolcano since--until now.

A LAND OF ASH is a collection of fictional stories on this very subject, including work
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I don't know that I've ever read an anthology, and I'm not really big on short stories, but the premise of this book sounded interesting. David Dalglish started with the Yellowstone Caldera blowing to smithereens, then each author built on that. We have a series of stories of people...people reacting to the country being covered with volcanic ash, people in various parts of the country. I think it all came together very well. Given the circumstances, it was believable, not only from the disaster ...more
I'm currently reading this - about 80% done - and while this collection of short stories is well written, it's a definite buzz kill. If you're looking for uplifting or inspirational fare then you'll want to keep looking.

Most of the stories deal with the aftermath of the Yellowstone Caldera. Like the post-explosion United States, the tales are grim, gritty, and gray. They're also all plausible. Especially thought-provoking is A Harmless American by David Dalglish, which flips the immigration issu
May 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's an interesting topic to choose for a series of short stories. Some were better than others, and it must be quite difficult to come up with different angles on what would basically be a catastrophic event.

All the authors are men, and I felt the lack of a female perspective. There were also a few typos in the edition I read: garage-sailing for garage-saling (though not sure that's a word, either!) and feint for faint, for example.

Worth a read for the stories that held out some hope for the hu
Lianne Burwell
May 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
The stories of this collection are all built around the idea of the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupting.

I was torn over this collection. The stories are all well-written, and did a good job of making me care about the characters and what happened to them. On the other hand, the stories are almost exclusively dark. Almost every single story ends with the death of the character(s). Even the ones that did survive, they have very little hope.

I guess I would say that while I thought the stories were
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“The world got itself in a big ass hurry and didn't want to slow down to see what it was running from.” 2 likes
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