Tag Archives: apocalypse

BOOK REVIEW: After The End: Recent Apocalypses Edited by Paula Guran

REVIEW SUMMARY: After the End: Recent Apocalypses is an excellent collection of stories for readers who like apocalyptic fiction but are tired of zombies.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: An anthology that collects twenty apocalyptic stories from the past ten years (with one exception).

PROS: Exciting action and intriguing protagonists. High level of differentiation in type and setting of stories. The anthology shows well how the tenor and composition of apocalyptic fiction has changed in recent years.
CONS: Mostly pessimistic stories with only glimmers of hope in them. Introductions that give away too much of the story.
BOTTOM LINE: After the End: Recent Apocalypses highlights how our perception of mankind’s role in this world has shifted toward a more pessimistic outlook post 9/11.

Stoker award winner, Prime Books’ senior editor and longtime anthologist Paula Guran collects twenty apocalyptic stories of the past ten years (2007-2012, save one) for a mostly depressing but occasionally hopeful anthology. Unlike many prior anthologies, which mixed various decades of writing output, Guran’s focus on the last ten years (post-9/11), shows how the tenor and composition of apocalyptic fiction has changed in our day. The double meaning of “recent” in the book’s subtitle refers not only to the timing of the apocalypses in this book, but also of their publication. As might be expected of the age of terrorism, war, political and ideological stratification, and the downplay of science, the stories are much darker, the glimmer’s of hope much dimmer. But hope is there among the wreckage, at least for some of our protagonists.
Continue reading

[GUEST POST] Adrian Barnes on Our Hunger For Apocalypse

Adrian Barnes is the author of the novel Nod, published by Bluemoose Books and shortlisted for the 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award. His next novel, Neverhasbeen, will be published in the spring of 2014.

In Our Hunger For Apocalypse, A Reason For Hope

You can learn everything you need to know about a society from its nightmares. Vampires, serial killers, werewolves, corporate bankers, demons, and zombies–the list of bogeymen is long and terrifying. Today, apocalypse is all the rage as writers of all stripes envision the ultimate end of…well, of everything. From The Walking Dead to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the upcoming World War Z, to my own recent novel, Nod, in which the end of the world as we know it arrives courtesy of an insomnia epidemic–apocalypses are everywhere you look.

And why not? Doomsday scenarios make for great entertainment. Death on speed dial, toppling skyscrapers, unfettered revenge, doomed love–at the end of the world every dramatic possibility is cranked up to the proverbial Eleven. It’s opera staged in a field of corpses.

A superficial analysis might lead one to diagnose either morbid fascination or self-hatred as the motivator for both the creation and consumption of such entertainments. But I disagree. In fact, I believe the driving force behind our lust for disaster is…hope.
Continue reading

The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 137): An Interview with YA Author Courtney Summers

In episode 137 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester sits down to chat with Courtney Summers, author of the new YA / Zombie Apocalypse novel: This Is Not A Test

About Courtney: Courtney Summers has been writing edgy, contemporary YA novels on scrap pieces of paper since the tender age of one. Maybe. Her novels CRACKED UP TO BE, SOME GIRLS ARE, FALL FOR ANYTHING and THIS IS NOT A TEST are available now wherever books are sold. Her next novel, ALL THE RAGE will be out in 2013.

Continue reading