Sunday, January 16, 2011

The End of the World, edited by Martin H. Greenberg

The End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse, edited by Martin H. Greenberg

The end of the world is an eerie concept, explored in several interesting and unique ways in this book. Jody After the War by Edward Bryant was both melancholy and beautiful, while We Can Get Them For You Wholesale by Neil Gaiman was quirky and somewhat disturbing. My favorite was easily The Wheel by John Wyndham, about a world that has decided technology of any sort is the root of all evil, and the tragic consequences of finding a simple wagon in this society. As with any anthology a few entries were weaker than others; Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels by George R. R. Martin for instance was a scary look at divergent evolutionary paths but I found the ending telegraphed. Robert Silverberg’s When We Went to See the End of the World was another odd one; every character equally shallow and unlikeable, but the backdrop against which the story is told was fascinating. All in all, a great collection of stories.

First Sentence (from the Introduction):
Humankind seems to take a certain grisly delight in stories about the end of the world, since the market in apocalyptic prophecy has been a bullish one for thousands, or more likely, millions of years.

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