Wastelands, Stories of the Apocalypse, Edited by John Joseph Adams
Wastelands is a collection of short stories by various Science Fiction writers. As evident from the title, the stories all involve the Apocalypse, but as diverse as the authors themselves, the stories tell the tale in a myriad of ways.
Well worth the read, as I discovered some new authors, as well as re-discovered some old ones. As with all “collections”, there were some that I did not enjoy, but there were a few gems I would not have missed. For example:
“The End of the Whole Mess” by Stephen King tells the story of two brothers, one a genius who finds a small Southern town where there is no violent crime. In a world on the verge of WWIII, and a Volcano about to erupt, Bobby isolates the chemical and solves the problem. Unfortunately, he didn’t look at possible side affects…
“Speech Sounds” by Octavia Butler is the story of a future where a pandemic has left people without full communication skills. Some can think, some can talk, some can read or write. When one woman decides to take a trip to see her last remaining relative, she ends up meeting an ex-policeman who can read a map, but not speak.
“Inertia” by Nancy Kress tells the story of a disease similar to leprosy, and the infected are segregated into “colonies”. Apparently the disease does not actually spread, only alters appearances, and the side effect of lessening emotions could benefit the people outside the camps.