Wastelands: The New Apocalypse
Ed. by John Joseph Adams
This book is the third Wastelands anthology to be brought out by editor John Joseph Adams, giving some indication of the public demand for this sort of fiction.
Such stories aren’t just dystopic: they present worst-case scenarios where a reset button has been hit on civilization due to plague, environmental collapse, alien invasion, or some other calamity.
That notion of reset or starting over actually makes the wasteland a somewhat optimistic place. Few of the stories collected here (20 reprints and 14 new, by some of the biggest names in the field) bother with explanations of how things went to hell, instead focusing on coping strategies. How will people adapt to survive in the wastelands? What new kinds of community will evolve? Given how close the end times feel, these are subjects we may want to start thinking about.