Review: Wastelands

Wastelands by John Joseph Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this since I am slushing for Wastelands 2. Nice collection. Stories that stood out to me:
-The End of the Whole Mess, Stephen King. Very good one by the master.
-Bread and Bombs, M. Rickert. Disturbing story that I had to read twice to understand what the kids did.
-The Last of the O-Forms, James Van Pelt. I saw the ending coming but I didn’t care. Good story.
-Mute, Gene Wolfe. In my quest to find a Gene Wolfe story I resonate with, this came closest so far. The last paragraph in this story is probably the saddest and creepiest paragraph I’ve ever read. I’ve found myself coming back to it again and again and asking, “Does that mean what I *think* it means?” I’m not sure I want to know.
-And the Deep Blue Sea, Elizabeth Bear. I loved how Bear portrayed the motorcycle like a living steed. Nice play on the Devil at the Crossroads myth.
-Speech Sounds, Octavia Butler. Scary how Butler portrays a world where speech is attacked.
-Ginny Sweethips Flying Circus, Neal Barrett Jr – the only story in the collection that had me outright laughing. I wish to see more of Ginny Sweethips and her companions.
-The End of the World as we know it, Dale Bailey – This one made me think the most. Fact is, the end of the world happens to people all the time.
-Episode Seven: Last Stand Against the Pack in the Kingdom Of the Purple Flowers, John Langan. A great response to Dale Bailey’s story. I loved the format, and the fact that the MC is pregant.

Good collection. Can’t wait to see how the next one pans out. 🙂

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