2012; ? pages (not listed, but short). New Authors? : No. Genre : Anthology. Overall Rating : 7½*/10.
Seven short stories from the fantastic writing talent called The Eclective, and just in time for the Mayan Apocalypse. There are androids and asteroids; exes and goddesses; big waves and big bangs; and last but not least – rednecks and butt plugs.
What’s To Like...
Two of the seven tales aren’t technically apocalypse-themed, but that’s just fine. The writing is strong and the editing is superb. The variety is nice and so are the stories’ tones – some are spine-chilling, some are heartwarming, one’s a cliffhanger, and one’s hilarious. Yeah, guess where the butt plugs fit in. Each author gives a kewl closing comment about the Apocalypse, one of which is given below.
The stories are :
01. The Shifting Sands – Tara West
02. Light – Emma Jameson
03. Alien Butt Plugs – P.J. Jones
04. Seeds – M. Edward McNally
05. Cleavers – Heather Marie Adkins
06. The Last Christmas – Alan Nayes
07. Combustion – R.G. Porter
Kewlest New Word...
Integument : a tough, outer, protective layer; especially that of a plant or animal.
Never let it be said a thermonuclear warhead was ineffective except as a deterrent. Turns out, in practice it worked pretty well. If human beings had still mattered, the 5-10% radiation that followed and remained for the next thirty years would have been a significant issue. Zombies, however, didn’t mind radiation. Since, like me, they did not breathe, the damage – greater than 44% - to their lungs was meaningless. (loc. 452)
”Did ya hear a sound?” Randy asked, before casting his line back into the placid water.
“Yep,” Jeb nodded. “Kinda like a thwump.”
“Yep,” Randy said matter-of-factly, as if dealing with space fellas was an everyday occurrence. “Thems aliens. ... Better get a cork.” (loc. 589)
I bought The Apocalypse Collection for $0.99 at Amazon, which is the usual price for any of the Eclective’s anthologies. I think all of them have been offered for free at some time or another, except for this new release. But if you wait long enough...
“Tara West likes eating organic foods, so that when the apocalypse comes, she’ll be the healthiest one to die.” (loc. 296, kewl closing comment)
Different readers will find different favorites in The Apocalypse Collection. Mine happened to be stories 02, 03, 04, and 06. But the other three are worthwhile too.
All seven will entertain you. Each is a compelling tale with an end-of-world or paranormal setting. Which, when you think about it, is amazing for a short story – you have to build a world, introduce a disaster, develop one or more characters, and garnish with a memorable lesson or message. All within a dozen pages or so. Wowza. 7½ Stars.