Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Club: Wastelands

I really need to stop my late-night Amazon impulse purchasing.

Not only is Stewart getting super sick of breaking down all the shipping boxes that continually arrive on our porch, I certainly don't need any more random books cluttering up my already way-too-long list of books I own and would like to read. 

In any case, at some point I acquired Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse by John Joseph Adams (editor). At the time, I didn't realize that it was actually a collection of short stories rather than an actual novel.

Mistake. 

Although I love post-apocalyptic fiction, I have since realized that I do not care for short stories.  

People have always imagined the end of the world, telling tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity, with a general theme of the nature of life in the aftermath of total societal collapse. Basically, Wastelands is supposed to be a collection of the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades by many of today's most renowned authors of speculative fiction. 

I did enjoy some of the stories. However, the problem, for me, was that each chapter only included a brief part of what seemed to be a much longer and more involved tale, and at the end of each I was left feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. 

I did like the fact that this collection wasn't about zombie plagues or alien invasions, but instead told stories of more plausible apocalypses and their aftermath. Some were better than others, but overall, due to their short, truncated nature, I felt cheated, confused, and often underwhelmed at the end of each one. 

Maybe it's your thing, but short story collections are definitely just not for me.

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