Book Review: Terminal Earth

My review of Terminal Earth, a new anthology of apocalyptic science fiction from Pound Lit Press, is online now at Residential Aliens. Anthologies are always a mixed bag, but I like this one, and it makes a good compare-and-contrast with Shine, an anthology of optimistic science fiction edited by Jetse de Vries, which I reviewed a few months ago.

Here’s my introduction to the review of Terminal Earth. You can read the whole thing at Residential Aliens, along with their usual complement of great sci-fi and fantasy.

***

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang, but a whimper
– T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

Whatever narrative of the apocalypse you prefer, you’re likely to find your favorite poison in Terminal Earth, a new anthology of science fiction short stories from Pound Lit Press. Editors Neil Thomas and Michael Stewart have selected stories that focus not so much on how the world ends as on what people do about it, and this might inspire contemplation of the reader’s own response to the terminal scenario. Would I put up a fight, meekly accept my fate, work on my “bucket list,” or just stand there with my mouth hanging open, wondering what happened?

Hmm.

There are twenty-three tales of humanity’s twilight here, from the mundane to the bizarre, so settle down into your bunker, pop open a can of Spam, cue up The Doors on your MP3 player (I recommend “Riders on the Storm” or “The End”) and watch it all burn, freeze, explode, assimilate, or simply wink out of existence. I love short fiction, especially short science fiction, and there are some pretty good stories in this collection.

read the rest

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