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Waiting for the End of the World

You may recall last week’s suggestion that The Road has solidified science fiction’s mainstream status. Well, the jury might still be out on that, but one thing’s for sure: It’s certainly made doomsday fiction hotter than ever. Witness the sale last week of Wastelands, an anthology of post-apocalyptic stories collected by Fantasy & Science Fiction assistant editor John Joseph Adams, to indie sci-fi press Night Shade Books. “I did a lot of research on the subgenre a while back for an article I was writing,” Adams explained, “and during the course of that discovered the distinct lack of anthologies devoted to the subgenre. There’s really only one go-to anthology for post-apocalyptic SF—Beyond Armageddon—and it was published over 20 years ago. Well, there’s been a lot of great post-apocalyptic SF published since then, so I thought a new reprint anthology was in order.”

So Adams dug into the archives, looking for stories that had been published in the two decades since that original anthology, and found several that had been nominated for science fiction’s most prestigious awards, including works by Orson Scott Card, James Van Pelt, and Neal Barrett, Jr.. Other contributors include Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, and Gene Wolfe, as well as a never-before-seen story by Jerry Oltion. And still more stories may be added before the anthology is published in early 2008…

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