Tag Archives: post-apocalyptic

Last One Out by K. B. Rylander

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: July/August 2016 in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Genre: post-apocalyptic science fiction

Setting: Sweden, near future

Summary: The story is told from the viewpoint of Filip, a Stationary CompanionApp, as he relates to Ella, his elderly human companion. It seems that the world was struck by a killer virus, and years later, everything is still in quarantine. Filip has tried to get Ella off the little Swedish island she’s currently on, or access to her drugs, but has had no success. Things change when he’s able to contact a supercomputer who turns off the quarantine conditions and teaches Filip how to import his consciousness into a Go-Machine.

Final thoughts: An interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world. Ella is alone, except for the bots that continue to maintain the cities and town. Filip has enough consciousness to worry about Ella, but not enough to come up with a good solution. Moving into the Go-Machine changes his perspective and his interactions with the world, and seems to open up more creative aspects of his personality. He still doesn’t understand music, although Ella keeps trying. Overall, a thoughtful piece with a touch of hope at the end.

Title comes from: According to an interview with the author, it refers to the phrase, “Last one out, turn the lights off.” Ella was the last one out, but she hadn’t turned the lights off because the bots were still out there.

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I read this back when it came out in 2006. It made a lot of critic’s “Best of 2006” lists, which put it on my radar. Plus, I’ve read his Border Trilogy and liked his sparse writing style. I decided to give it a try.

Published: 2006

Genre: post-apocalyptic fiction

Length: 287 pages

Setting: near future, it felt like California but it was definitely in the U.S. Continue reading

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I’ve heard good things about this book in various places, but I put it on my TBR list after listening to episode 17 of the What Should I Read Next podcast. I decided it had been a while since I’d read a post-apocalyptic book and it was time to check it off my reading list.

Published: 2014

Genre: post-apocalyptic fiction

Length: 333 pages

Setting: various places in North America, near future Continue reading

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What I Will Be Reading #31: from the Modern Mrs. Darcy

Between listening to What Should I Read Next and reading Modern Mrs. Darcy’s blog, I could keep my to-be-read list in an ever-growing state of wishing for more time. I’ll share a few of the books I’ve recently been interested in from her site.

I try not to add every book I hear Anne describe on her podcast, but she’s great at making books sound interesting. For the one-year anniversary (episode 62), Anne gathered suggestions from the listeners of what she should read next. I thought several of the books sounded good, including: Continue reading

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Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

This book has been on my reading list for over two years now, so it’s very satisfying to be able to finally cross it off the list. I put it on my TBR list after reading a “Best sci-fi and fantasy books of all time” post from The Telegraph. Books on lists like that tend to be of higher than average quality, so any I hadn’t read I put on my TBR list. As a bonus, it’s also on the BBC’s The Big Read list. I chose to read it now because it gave me a W author that I’m still lacking.

Published: 1951

Genre: post-apocalyptic science fiction

Length: 216 pages

Setting: London and its environs, late 1940s Continue reading

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Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

This is the third book in The Reckoners series. You’ll want to start at the beginning of the series (Steelheart and then Firefight) if you’re interested in the books. I successfully convinced Mr. Curiosity to read the series, so I read this book after he finished it. Bonus, it was published this year so it counts toward my new books challenge

Published: 2016

Genre: post-apocalyptic YA

Length: 421 pages

Font: Apollo

Setting: mostly Ildithia, in the U.S. southwest, soon after the events the events of Firefight Continue reading

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Short Stories by Holly Schofield

Title: Graveyard Shift

Published: September 2013 in Tesseracts Seventeen: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast to Coast.

Genre: speculative fiction

Length: 9 pages

Setting: a graveyard, near future

Interest: It was published in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: Ryan Leong has pretty much given up. He’s just graduated from college, deep in debt, with little prospect of getting a job since all the teachers have been replaced by online classes and algorithms, and his mother just died. So, he’s going to show xiao one last time and visit his Grandfather’s grave. He figures he owes his grandfather at least one last conversation, before using the gun in his backpack. That conversation manages to turn his mind around and give him an idea of what to do after graduation.

Final thoughts: The story qualifies for speculative fiction, but not in any “crazy technology” way. Instead, the author took a trend (the creation of online courses, and the increasing expense of college) and pushed it to the extreme. What would that mean? It could mean that going to college would no longer be a help in getting a job. Instead, it would just saddle you with enormous amounts of debt, and you’d still be less competitive than the cheap overseas workers. The author also pulled in lots of details of showing respect to your elders as a Chinese immigrant.

Title comes from: The narrator goes to visit his Grandfather’s grave before dawn

Title: Hurry Up and Wait

Published: May, 2013 in Perihelion Science Fiction

Genre: post-apocalyptic

Length: 15 pages

Setting: an island off the coast of Vancouver, near future

Summary: Mike and Darren are living on a small island north of Vancouver. For all they know, they could be the last people to survive the supervirus, bombs, earthquake, and other environmental disasters that all seemed to hit at once. That thought changes when they get a text on Darren’s cell phone. A billionaire survivor is asking anyone still alive to meet at the University of Vancouver campus. Mike is pessimistic and happy to stay on the island, while Darren, who crashing landed on the island in a storm at the beginning of the apocalypse, wants to join them. They spend a winter on the island, and Mike is convinced they can’t really make it on their own. He starts making plans to get to Vancouver.

Final thoughts: An interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic story. Mike had been planning to move off grid onto the island, but the apocalypse came before he could get all his supplies together. Darren, on the other hand, was an unexpected visitor that Mike couldn’t just send away. There was no away to get to. Mike’s a little annoyed he has to share his hideaway with anyone, let alone a stranger. Eventually, though, he realizes that he just doesn’t have enough resources to survive on his own, and they think about joining other survivors.

Title comes from: A phrase Mike uses when talking about doing chores around the cabin. You have to hurry up and do something and then wait until it’s important.

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