In reading this second volume of Earth ending short stories you will realize just how many ways life as we know it could end. It could make you feel very small and totally useless or, depending on your point of view of society, it could fill you with hope knowing that the end is always near and that maybe if the ever impending apocalypse does happen we can rise from the ruin and try not to make such a mess of the World the second time around. Either way read and enjoy yet another fine collection of 'what-if' tales.
'Jaundice' by Zachary O'Shea: In a world overrun with mold and mildew Cara's detestable job is to clear out the yellowed infected that used to be people. On a routine run she is suddenly isolated from her crew, as danger draws near a man with an axe provides rescue but is he a hero or is there something else running through the ruins that could pose the greatest threat yet.
'Hoolies' by Harper Hull: After the end, the remaining survivors fly colours, flags that set them apart from other gangs and provide a sense of pride. To lose your flag is to incur shame and death. Are these flags really reminders of old society's divisions or merely incomplete remnants of kinship and shared interests?
'Juliana' by Angel D.Callido: Kenshiro wanders across America's ruined wasteland in search of his sister. A terrible disease has turned many people into 'Spitter's'. Will a chance meeting with a few soldiers aid him in his quest to find his remaining family or provide him with more misery?
'The Mouse Ran Down' by Adrian Tchaikovsky: A small group of survivors jump from era to era, trying to outrun their enemy. From Prehistoric to Elizabethan to Roman, can time begin again as normal or are they doomed to run forever.
'Rock Garden' by L.E. White: A meteorite that falls to ground in Hawaii has the effect of turning people to stone. As a man tries to keep his family safe, reports start surfacing that some survivors have taken to eating the rock remains of the dead with terrifying consequences.
'The Silence of the Dead' by Wednesday Silverwood: A complete silence fills the world. Neither voices or footsteps are heard. Even the rolling sea is silent. As the world erupts into chaos and savagery some people hide, wary of the strange creatures that circle in the air.
'A Birthday to Remember' by Harry Manners: Alex wakes to a world empty of people. A great blaze takes the street as he watches. Alone, he runs trying to ignore the tidy piles of clothes that litter the pavement as the people inside them simply vanished.
'An End for Some' by Jason Lairamore: When bombs fall a boy moves along with his extended family into the countryside. He is forced to grow up fast as his skills are tested when his parents disappear and he is left to rescue his sister from a gang of violent marauders.
'Knock Knock, Who's There?' by Magda Knight: A surrealist tale of a science experiment gone awry, massive unnatural beasts, knights in shining armour and survival by beach ball.
'Clean World' by Charlie Fish: A world 'cleansed' of people allows a man the freedom to do as he wishes. To destroy or admire, without rule or law he enjoys his people free domain and is willing to do anything to protect the lifestyle he so enjoys.
A good collection of stories that both expand the field of apocalypse by taking it in new and fresh directions while also dealing with the subject in varied and deep detail.
NOTE: I was gifted this book for the purpose of review.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)