For those not familiar with the format, Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois have compiled a large number of themed anthologies each of which contains a number of stories dealing with a single topic. This book fills its 269 pages with twelve stories on the subject of the end of the world. They date from 1951 to 1998.
The finest story here is "A Pail of Air" by Fritz Lieber. It tells of a dark star passing through the solar system and dragging the Earth away. Without the sun it gets so cold that even the air freezes. How can people survive in this world? The other truely outstanding tale is Frederick Pohl's "Fermi and Frost" which describes a world slowly freezing over in the wake of a nuclear war. If you have not read those two stories before, they pretty well justify buying the book.
Gregory Benford, Nancy Kress and Raccoona Sheldon (aka James Tiptree Jr.) merit mention for their three stories all of which deal with the potential of advanced biotechnology to finish us off.
"""Armageddons" is a collection of twelve short stories about the end of the world, imagined by some of science fiction's best known writers. The twelve stories are imaginitive scenarios that describe how the human race could become extinct, whether it be through nuclear war, plague, pollution, or natural disaster.
It's amazing how pessimistic some people can be. You wonder if some of these writers are really telling stories or setting down prophecies.
Anthony Burgess once had something to say about apocalyptic stories. He believed that so-called "warnings" about the end of the world were really just wish-fulfillment. There is a part of us that deperately wants the apocalypse to come. That's why it captures are imaginations so much. Burgess was mainly referring to stories about the third world war. Still, there could be something in what he said.
If you ponder things like the end of the world then "Amageddons" will definitely whet your appetite.""