Review: Epilogue

 

I just finished Epilogue (from Fablecroft Publishing), a collection of short stories around the idea of hope in the wake of the apocalypse.

 

What a wonderful anthology — one of those impulse buys that really paid off. The range of variations on a theme demonstrated the brilliance of the book’s subject matter as well as the wealth of talent out there at the moment. If you’re expecting 12 Zombie stories, nothing could be further from what I discovered in here…

 

David McDonald’s “Cold Comfort” took me back to the kinds of scifi adventure I read in my youth and my 20s; the kind of brave (and tough) new world tale that captured my imagination and got me hooked on scifi for life. It’s an against-the-elements story in which our world has been completely reshaped (and reinvented) by cataclysm.

 

Dirk Flinthart’s “The Fletcher Test” melds human angst, questions of existence (and what life actually is) and gripping projections of where AI tech might take us in the future. All of this creates a story which went where I least expected. Sheer brilliance.

 

“Sleeping Beauty” was one of the most original stories I’ve ever read, and a truly novel take on the apocalypse.

 

“Mornington Ride” had a pleasantly authentic Aussie flavour without reverting to Mad Max-isms. It’s compelling if crude in many places (not to be read if you don’t like bad language, for example), BUT it aptly captures the kind of dog-eat-dog world we can expect after the bombs have finished ruining our civilisations.

 

And the book closes with two stories that are entirely “left field” in terms of reimagining the apocalypse.

 

Wonderful wonderful collection that I will no doubt read again.

 

 

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