I finished up a book of short stories called Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams. It's a weird grouping of stories, many pretty pessimistic. Some deal with a world that's gone downhill but not dead, like "Bread and Bombs", while others are about a really bleak and dead world, like "Salvage" and "The Last of the O-Forms".

I'd say the best stories for me were "And the Deep Blue Sea" about a motorcycle courier's deal with the devil, "The People of Sand and Slag" which is about a what happens when future race of beings who can eat anything and regrow limbs find a normal dog, "Artie's Angels" about a kid who compels others to rise above the baseness of their circumstances, "Ginny Sweethip's Flying Circus" which is puts a new twist on the world's oldest profession, and "Judgement Passed" about some astronauts who come back to find the population of Earth raptured away.

Worst? I was surprised i didn't really like the Stephen King story "The End of the Whole Mess". It's a first person story in which the narrator describes how he and his brother caused the world to end. I also had NO CLUE what was going on in Gene Wolfe's "Mute". Are the kids dead? abandoned? trapped in some computer alternate reality? I even looked it up online but couldn't find too much. oh well.

Overall, i'd give this a 5. I also would recommend reading it slowly. A few stories every week until finished, to give yourself time to take them in. There is also a huge "For Further Reading" list in the back that i had to completely ignore but others might enjoy, if you need a few more book ideas!

Other's feelings: I can't believe i didn't know Carl had reviewed this one, SQT, Adventures in Reading, Graeme's Fantasy Book Review, Grasping for the Wind, and Working Title.

Currently: chilling after my hike today.


  1. I'm working my way through this one a story or two per month. I do agree that People of the Sand and Slag is fantastic. The best story in the collection so far.

  2. I am reading Wastelands and the story 'Mute' has me puzzled as well.

    From the online searching I have done, it is either an Adam and Eve parallel, or the kids are dead in their own private hell because of the sin of incest.

    Either way, I don't think this story really belongs in a Post Apocolypse Anthology.

  3. CB- Glad you like it so far.

    Kurt- i didn't think Mute worked with the other stories either.


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