Wastelands Stories of the Apocalypse Author:John Joseph Adams (Editor) Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon - these are our guides through the Wastelands... Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today's most renowned authors of speculative fiction, including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Ors... more »on Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King, Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon. Whether the end of the world comes through nuclear war, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm, these are tales of survivors, in some cases struggling to rebuild the society that was, in others, merely surviving, scrounging for food in depopulated ruins and defending themselves against monsters, mutants and marauders.
Complete with introductions and an appendix of recommendations for further reading, Wastelands delves into this bleak landscape, uncovering the raw human emotion at the genre's core.
Introduction (Wastelands: Stories of the Apoclypse) • essay by John Joseph Adams
The End of the Whole Mess / Stephen King
Salvage / Orson Scott Card
The People of Sand and Slag / Paolo Bacigalupi
Bread and Bombs / M. Rickert
How We Got Into Town and Out Again / Jonathan Lethem
Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels / George R. R. Martin
Waiting for the Zephyr / Tobias S. Buckell
Never Despair / Jack McDevitt
When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth / Cory Doctorow
The Last of the O-Forms / James Van Pelt
Still Life with Apocalypse / Richard Kadrey
Artie’s Angels / Catherine Wells
Judgment Passed / Jerry Oltion
Mute / Gene Wolfe
Intertia / Nancy Kress
And the Deep Blue Sea / Elizabeth Bear
Speech Sounds / Octavia E. Butler
Killers / Carol Emshwiller
Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus / Neal Barrett, Jr.
The End of the World as We Know it / Dale Bailey
A Song Before Sunset / David Grigg
Episode Seven: Last Stand Against the Pack in the Kingdom of the Purple Flowers / John Langan
Stories by Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Paolo Bacigalupi, M Rickert, Jonathan Lethem, GRR Martin, Tobias Buckell, Jack McDevitt, Cory Doctorow, James Van Pelt, Richard Kadry, Catherine Wells, Jerry Oltion, Gene Wolfe, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Bear, Octavia Butler, Carol Emshwiller, Neal Barrett, Dale Bailey, David Grigg, John Langan, and a "For Further Reading" list in the back. Something for everybody.
From the introduction by Adams: " ... tales of survival and of life in the aftermath that explore what scientific, psychological, sociological, and physiological changes will take place in the wake of the apocalypse. What you will *not* find here are tales depicting the aftermath of aliens conquering the Earth, or the terror induced by a zombie uprising ..."
I actually bought a second copy after reading Cory's story (When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth) and gave it to the college's IT Department at work. Black humor, but I giggled.
It's a keeper for me (not releasing it, sorry! No way, no how!) and a thumb's up :-)
AND I discovered some new authors I'd never read before!
I am a huge fan of apocalyptic fiction and these stories are some of the best I've read in any compilation. Original and gripping, minus the crapiocca of some post apocalyptic fiction (vampires...uh, I don't think so), it's well worth a read.
I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, but this book just didn't do it for me. I read the first 5 or so stories and couldn't read the rest. The stories are very futuristic and not really focused on survival (such as The Cell, I Am Legend, etc). It didn't capture my interest.
The main reason I got it was for the Stephen King story, which turned out to be one of the ones already published in Nightmares and Dreamscapes.. too bad.
This started slowly, but is ultimately a decent mix of good and mediocre stories from both familiar authors and new ones. It also includes a 3 page "additional reading" list of other post-apocalyptic fiction novels which is useful for fans. All the included stories are taken from magazines or other works, many of them older issues (80s-90s), so if you subscribe to sci fi/fantasy magazines, you may have already read most of these. Recommended for fans of the post-apocalyptic genre.