The End Is Nigh

John Joseph Adams, Hugh Howey
The End Is Nigh Cover

The End Is Nigh


When reading anthologies I always find myself asking if the editor's had a plan, if an anthology-specific philosophy guided the choice of authors and stories and chronology. Was there a blueprint? Start with x kind of story, build up to y, go out with a z? Perhaps. The End Is Nigh starts out very strong--the first story, "The Balm and the Wound" by Robin Wasserman was one of my favorites and works well as an opening hook--and saves some of its strangest and most disturbing tales ("Enlightenment" by Matthew Mather takes the prize for both titles) for the end, perhaps in hopes of not scaring readers away prematurely. But I found the quality of stories in this anthology, on a whole, to be very high, their content and approach fresh and original and sometimes deliciously strange. There are man-eating spores, a volcano, a singularity, and more than a few outlandish and interesting religious cults.

While the stories did better than average as far as representation of non-hetero sexualities goes and almost managed gender parity among its authors (nine stories written by women, 13 by men), it is very, very white (19 stories written by white authors, 2 by authors of color, 1 undetermined). So there's that.

But get this. The big-BIG-picture plan for The End Is Nigh is what has me really excited. Really fucking excited. Because it is not just one anthology, it is the beginning of a three-part anthology series called The Apocalypse Triptych that will collect short stories about the end of the world in all its glorious progression. The End Is Nigh (out at the start of 2014) covers just before the shit hits the fan; The End Is Now (out now) looks at the shit hitting the fan; and The End Has Come (out soon) watches as it careens across the room, splatters on the wall, and some poor sucker comes and tries to clean it up with a bucket of dirty water.

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