Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse

Wastelands Stories of the ApocalypseWastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsJohn Joseph Adams assembles a wide variety of apocalypse-related fiction in Wastelands. some of which are older than I am, while others are more recent. What you end up with is a diverse anthology covering topics such as religion, war, and exploration while containing horror, comedy, and a sense of wonder.

The majority of the stories are easy to get into. Some stories are more subtle than others. Overall, Wastelands is an enjoyable read and the selection seems balanced. Having said that, here are my top three stories:

  • “Bread and Bombs” by M. Rickert is one of the more horrifying stories in this anthology, and this is achieved through her characterization and commentary on society. It’s easy to jump into Rickert’s text and there is a foreboding established early on which rewards the reader by the time they reach the end.
  • “Artie’s Angels” by Catherine Wells is another favorite; the author succeeds in using a first-person narrative to tell another character’s story. Again, characterization is a key strength of this piece and the ending has that perfect combination of hope and complexity.
  • “The End of the World as We Know It” by Dale Bailey is perhaps the post-modern apocalypse story as it’s one-part meta-fictional commentary and one-part anti-thesis to the conventions of the sub-genre.

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse is an interesting ensemble and I enjoyed many of the stories in this anthology. Adams succeeds in providing a diverse array of pieces despite the seemingly specific theme.

FanLit thanks Charles Tan from Bibliophile Stalker for contributing this guest review.

Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon — these are our guides through the Wastelands… From the Book of Revelations to The Road Warrior; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. 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, Orson 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.

SHARE:  Facebooktwitterredditpinteresttumblrmail  FOLLOW:  Facebooktwitterrsstumblr
If you plan to buy this book, you can support FanLit by clicking on the book cover above and buying it (and anything else) at Amazon. It costs you nothing extra, but Amazon pays us a small referral fee. Click any book cover or this link. We use this income to keep the site running. It pays for website hosting, postage for giveaways, and bookmarks and t-shirts. Thank you!

CHARLES TAN, one of our guest reviewers, is the owner of the blogs Bibliophile Stalker and Comic Quest. He also edits Philippine Speculative Fiction. You can read his fiction in that publication and in The Digest of Philippine Genre Stories. Charles has conducted interviews for The Nebula Awards and The Shirley Jackson Awards, as well as for online magazines such as SF Crowsnest and SFScope. He is a regular contributor to sites like SFF Audio and Comics Village.

View all posts by

Review this book and/or Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *