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review 2018-05-21 02:36
THE END HAS COME by JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS
The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych) (Volume 3) - Jamie Ford,Hugh Howey,Seanan McGuire,John Joseph Adams,Ken Liu,Scott Sigler,Ben H. Winters,Elizabeth Bear,Carrie Vaughn,Jonathan Maberry

Anthology. I'm going to read each author's work in this triptych. Starting with Volume 1, then Volume 2 and lastly Volume 3. I'm hoping that each story will give an extension of the beginning story. 

3.79 stars average


1. Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn. Fantastic story. Dystopian investigator finds out what's happening in a small village. Love it. 5 stars

2. Like All Beautiful Places by Megan Arkenberg. I may have read this author before. I remember a story of a melting landscape and a sea with no waves. I thought at the time, it's the moon that makes the waves not air. This book is very similar. 2-1/2 stars.

3. Dancing with a Stranger in the Land of Nod by Will McIntosh. Families trying to figure out what their new normal is. 4 stars.

4. The Seventh Day of Deer Camp by Scott Sigler. A man does whatever it takes to save innocents. Really good story. 5 stars

5. Prototype by Sarah Langan. Through evolution, human's have turned into pets/experiments. A really sad story. 4 stars

6. Acts of Creation by Chris Avellone. What is going on? Is it real, a computer, what? 2 stars

7. Resistance by Seanan McGuire. How can the victim keep being told that she's to blame? She didn't (view spoiler). It just didn't make sense. And the ending didn't make sense either. 2 stars

8. Wandering Star by Leife Shallcross. A quilt shows that in the end a family stays together. Sweet story. 4 stars

9. Heaven Come Down by Ben H. Winters. After everyone has died and everything is destroyed and then rebuilt, she learns the truth. 3 stars.

10. Agent Neutralized by David Wellington. 10 years later, he can finally do something semi-good. 5 stars

11. Goodnight Earth by Annie Bellet. I don't understand why this story has this title because the others made sense, this not so much. Much, much, much later the world has changed and not for the good. 3 stars.

12. Carriers by Tananarive Due. Decades later, after being used and abused, a survivor finds some happiness. Loved it! 5 stars.

13. In the Valley of the Shadow of the Promised Land by Robin Wasserman. Now everyone has aged and the leader has told a story to justify everything he's done thinking he'll be able to write the ending the way he wants. I really enjoyed all three stories. 4 stars. 

14. The Uncertainty Machine by Jamie Ford. A 3rd survivor doesn't know if he's going to be rescued or forgotten. Okay story. 3 stars.

15. Margin of Survival by Elizabeth Bear. A woman and her sister try to survive not only the first apocalypse but the many afterwards. Sad story. 4 stars

16. Jingo and the Hammerman by Jonathan Maberry. With the new normal, people are just doing their job striking down zombies that accumulate and a coincidence happens. I don't understand Moose's tears at the end, I would think it would be more laughter than anything. Much better than the other two stories. 4 stars.

17. The Last Movie Ever Made by Charlie Jane Anders. The teenagers are older now and the world has changed but not completely. When they find themselves trapped in their hometown, they use a movie to escape but the outcome isn't exactly what they wanted. Really good story. 4 stars

18. The Gray Sunrise by Jake Kerr. The asteroid hits with a father and son trying to escape. Another great story. 5 stars.

19. The Gods Have Not Died in Vain by Ken Liu. After the near destruction of the world, an inventor has found a solution that might save Earth. I really enjoyed these three stories. 4 stars.

20. In the Woods by Hugh Howey. SPOILER[So these idiots extract revenge 500 years later on a lone woman who had nothing to do with what happened (hide spoiler)] How stupid could they be!? The story was good but the revenge was ridiculous. I don't think anyone with half a brain would have done this. So 3 stars for the storytelling but not the ending.

21. Blessings by Nancy Kress. Many years after the 2nd story, the world seems to have changed for the better, but not perfect. Another good story. 4 stars

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review 2018-05-21 02:33
THE END IS NOW by JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS
The End is Now (The Apocalypse Triptych Book 2) (Volume 2) - John Joseph Adams,Hugh Howey,Daniel H. Wilson,Robin Wasserman,Jamie Ford,Jonathan Maberry,David Wellington,Ben H. Winters,Sarah Langan,Tananarive Due,Scott Sigler,Seanan McGuire

Anthology. I'm going to reach each author's work in this triptych. Starting with Volume 1, then Volume 2 and lastly Volume 3. I'm hoping that each story will give an extension of the beginning story. 

3.85 stars average. A lot of really great stories in this anthology


1. Herd Immunity by Tananarive Due. Did she know what would happen? 5 stars

2. The Sixth Day at Deer Camp by Scott Sigler. The friends find out the survivors are much more than they thought. Good story. 4 stars.

3. Goodnight Stars by Annie Bellet. Trying to get home while everything is falling apart. They receive a sad message that is really appreciated. 4 stars.

4. Rock Manning Can't Hear You by Charlie Jane Anders. Some sort of bomb goes off after Rock & Sally make another Harold Lloyd-ish movie. Now the world has to somehow move on. Enjoyed this story. 4 stars

5. Fruiting Bodies by Seanan McGuire. The mold is growing and now someone else close to the protagonist succumbs. Still the reactions seem muted. 2-1/2 stars

6. Black Monday by Sarah Langan. A group of scientists try desperately to make cyborgs they can send to the surface to help people survive below with awful consequences. 4 stars.

7. Angels of the Apocalypse by Nancy Kress. A woman helps her sister and the ones like her even though she doesn't understand what makes them tick. Another good one. 4 stars.

8. Agent Isolated by David Wellington. The man from the last story escapes, he tries to save people, then just a couple of people, but nothing works. Really sad story. 4 stars

9. The Gods Will Not be Slain by Ken Liu. Chaos, then some lessening, then a potential for another acceleration. Another good story. 4 stars

10. You've Never Seen Everything by Elizabeth Bear. A woman walks through hell to get home and finds out they've moved on. Really ending. 4 stars.

11. Bring them Down by Ben H. Winters. The power takes over after they felt things had changed. Another good, confusing story. I hope the 3rd story explains everything. 4 stars

12. Twilight of the Music Machines by Megan Arkenberg. It's like I started a book in the middle. I just don't understand. 2-1/2 stars

13. Sunset Hollow by Jonathan Maberry. So most of these stories are a continuation in some way from book one, to book two and then book three. Story one was about an asteroid. This one is about zombies. I get that the author wants the story to read as frantic thoughts but it's a lot of repeat phrases, sometimes with one word different. Drove me crazy. 2 stars. 

14. Penance by Jake Kerr. One of the lottery workers finally feels like he's helping someone. Great story. 5 stars

15. Avtomat by Daniel H. Wilson. An ancient relic brings mechanicals to life in Russia. Good story. 4 stars.

16. Dancing with Batgirl in the Land of Nod by Will McIntosh. As the disease spreads, some people try to clear their conscious before they are unable to speak. 3-1/2 stars.

17. By the Hair of the Moon by Jamie Ford. A survivor in an opium den tries to find a way to escape what's happening. Good story. 3-1/2 stars

18. To Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood by Desirina Boskovich. Waiting for the next phase, they learned they were tricked and then turn on each other. A very sad ending. 4 stars.

19. In the Mountain by Hugh Howey. The start of the Founders and their realization of how long they really have in there and how many can make it. 4 stars.

20. Dear John by Robin Wasserman. Wow, just wonderful story. One of the survivors writes goodbye letters to her lovers and tries to figure out what she wants next. Really good! 5 stars

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review 2018-05-21 02:29
THE END IS NIGH by JOHN JOSEPH ADAMS
The End is Nigh - Hugh Howey,John Joseph Adams

Anthology. I'm going to reach each author's work in this triptych. Starting with Volume 1, then Volume 2 and lastly Volume 3. I'm hoping that each story will give an extension of the beginning story. 

3.89 stars average. Most of these stories were 4 or 5 stars. I would definitely recommend this book.


1. The Balm and the Wound by Robin Wasserman. A con-man is right and his unknown young son ends up being just what his cult needed. Loved this story, which I didn't think I would because I thought it would ridicule religion but nope. It ends with may he was right all along. But we'll see. I'm so glad I can keep the story going. 5 stars

2. Heaven is a Place on Planet X by Desirina Boskovich. Aliens came and said everybody will be vaporized and moved to another planet but you MUST go on as usual or you'll be misted (kind of vaporized but not to another planet) by the chosen enforcers. Good story, it was sad which people were chosen to be misted. 4 stars.

3. Break! Break! Break! by Charlies Jane Anders. A teenager and his friends make movies a la Harold Lloyd while he runs from bullies and his brother prepares to join the Army all in the middle of a "conflict". Good story. 4 stars. 

4. The Gods Will Not Be Chained by Ken Liu. A push for a kind of immortality isn't going as planned. Another really good story. 4 stars

5. Wedding Day by Jake Kerr. An asteroid is going to hit North America and some of the other countries are accepting refugees. There's a lottery to see who gets to go. Sad/sweet story. 5 stars.

6. Removal Order by Tananarive Due. A deadly flu has evacuated a city leaving a granddaughter caring for her dying grandmother. Great story. 5 stars.

7. System Reset by Tobias S. Buckell. A techo nut sets off an EMP so that the world will be reset with him and his kind as the leaders. The people that try to stop him have another idea. Really good story. 4 stars.

8. This Unkempt World is Falling to Pieces by Jamie Ford. A party, a false alarm, then the read thing. Sad ending. Good story. 4 stars

9. BRING HER TO ME by Ben H. Winters. An already dystopian world with a power and a final solution. I really liked this story.5 stars.

10. In the Air by Hugh Howey. A Wool prequel about a man who has three choices and hopes he picked the best one. 4 stars.

11. Goodnight Moon by Annie Bellet. A group of scientists prepares for the worst. Really sad story. 4 stars.

12. Dancing with Death in the Land of Nod by Will McIntosh. Neighbors try to help others with a paralyzing disease. Super sad ending. 4 stars.

13. Houses Without Air by Megan Arkenberg. Somehow the world is running out of oxygen - smog, volcano? And one roommate works on a computer game and the other works on a diorama. I was still confused by the end of the story. 2-1/2 stars

14. The Fifth Day of Deer Camp by Scott Sigler. A group of friends on their annual hunting trip find out Earth has been invaded. Good story. 3-1/2 stars

15. Enjoy the Moment by Jack McDevitt. A physicist discovers an anomaly which will eventually change everything on Earth. 4 stars.

16. Pretty Soon the Four Horsemen are Going to Come Riding Through by Nancy Kress. A mom tries to raise two very different daughters. 4 stars

17. Spores by Seanan McGuire. A practical joke goes wrong. I would have been beyond furious and would come at them for blood. The reaction seemed pretty tame to me. 2-1/2 stars

18. She's Got a Ticket to Ride by Jonathan Maberry. A man tries to save a girl from a cult and find out she doesn't need saving. For a short story, it's kind of weird to complain about it being too long in parts. When the protagonist goes on, and on, and on about kids going bad and then does the same about planets to the point where I start being bored at page 1-1/2, something is wrong. Maybe it's me but 2 stars for this story. 

19. Agent Unknown by David Wellington. A 20 year incubation time has expired. 4 stars.

20. Enlightenment by Matthew Mather. Okay, that was weird & gross. 2 stars

21. Shooting the Apocalypse by Paolo Bacigalupi. A photographer and a reporter discover a story that could kill millions. 4 stars

22. Love Perverts by Sarah Langan. Horrible parents have a miracle kind son who will sacrifice everything for his family. Wonderfully sad story. 5 stars

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text 2017-07-12 21:22
Reading progress update: I've read 48 out of 510 pages.
Wool Omnibus Edition (Silo, #1; Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

That first story was twisty...

 

Trying to see if this book lives up to it's hype. So far so good! 

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review 2017-06-11 01:14
WOOL -- interesting concept, mixed execution
Wool - Hugh Howey

I can see why Hugh Howey’s Wool is ripe for bestseller status: the hook is gripping, the characters are relatable, the sci-fi concept is intriguing, and Howey’s prose conveys the action with urgency and clarity. It doesn’t end up quite so satisfying to me, though. There is that one missing thing: depth of ideas. In my mind, this last thing is important (nay, essential) for any good fiction.

 

With science fiction in particular, the story needs the scientific idea as its core, with the scaffolding of plot and character imbuing that idea with life. What Wool has is an interesting idea, that there is a whole community of human being living in a great underground “silo”, the origin and purpose of which are unknown at the beginning of the story (and, as it happens, only dimly foreshadowed in this volume… apparently, one must read the next volume to get the origin story). The concept is interesting and has a lot of potential, and with the name “silo”, one must imagine a great apocalyptic event (nuclear or not) having necessitated its existence. As the plot unfolds, we learn a bit more about why things happen as they do in this silo society. These developments are indeed quite interesting, and I think that the story of Wool would have been more cohesive if the author had integrated the silo’s origin and purpose into this story.

 

The plot moves along, for the most part, at an engaging clip, although the original format of the story (a series of novellas) hasn’t quite been successfully massaged into what used to be called a “fix-up” novel. At the beginning the sheriff of this silo has gotten his hands on some forbidden knowledge, and he’s got to go… outside. This means being exiled to the toxic environment beyond the airlock, which, despite the protection of an environmental suit, means that death comes within ten or fifteen minutes at most. What has the sheriff discovered? Why is it so dangerous to social order? These are intriguing questions. Answering these questions leads to the great unraveling of the mystery of the silo… unfortunately, this unraveling remains incomplete within the page of Wool, and the plot turns increasingly towards the misdeeds of a rather one-dimensional villain and the heroic escapes of an incredibly competent engineer figure (a familiar type from Golden-Age sci-fi, the only real difference here being that the hero is female). These central characters could have used a great deal more depth, their status as hero and villain never being in question, the result being that they never achieve plausible Personalities but remain mere Characters for the duration of the story.

 

These deficits are all the more lamentable because the concept really is interesting and Howey’s prose displays some capacity for thoughtfulness despite its apparent transparency. That said, I did enjoy what unraveling there was; I even found the action scenes (which got in the way of what I really wanted) almost unbearably intense. I don’t mean the third-act battles (which are somewhat by-the-numbers) but rather the impossible threats to survival that the heroine must navigate. While I considered them distractions, they were amazingly effective distractions. It’s no wonder that Wool has been optioned by none other than Ridley Scott.

 

Final word: read it for action, read it on the beach, but don’t expect the promising world of Wool to reach its full potential. I’ll just have to be satisfied with what I’ve got; I won’t be moving ahead to the sequels.

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