“Pretty good collection of stories. Tip - if Ellen Datlow is the editor, then the book is worth reading. She's got great taste.”see full review » see other reviews »
“Pretty good collection of stories. Tip - if Ellen Datlow is the editor, then the book is worth reading. She's got great taste.”KerryLC wrote this review Monday, March 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As in most anthologies there are some shining examples of what a piece of short fiction should be and then there are a few stinkers. I found the majority to be quite fun, however a few seemed that they were just sale pitches for a series by the same author. No harm in that but I feel a short story should be able to stand on it's own with out future reading. When I first picked up this book I was expecting them all to apocalyptic and through the introduction learned dystopian actually means a flawed socitey (aren't they all), the majority of the stories are about the After and by the end I wished there was more dystopia thought there are a few.”Wyatt Packard wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved it! My favorite stories were Susan Beth Pfeffer's story and Sarah Rees Brennan's story.”Coletta-wa wrote this review Friday, November 16, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Writing reviews for anthologies or short story collections is always difficult for me. Should I just talk about the book as a whole, of my general impressions? Should I review each story? Highlight some? Rating them is difficult as well, since the individual stories vary so greatly. What I've decided to do is give a general overview and then some 'awards' to particular stories.
As with any anthology that I've ever read, there were some stories I really loved, quite a few that I had no strong feelings about, and some that I loathed. That's just how it goes. The stories have a nice variety, none of them really plumbing the same ground. Some of the authors surprised me, both in good and bad ways. There wasn't much humor, but dystopian humor has always been somewhat rare.
One notable aspect of this anthology is the dearth of romance. Most of the dystopias/post-apocalyptic novels being cranked out these days have a major romance element, but that is almost entirely absent here. There are a few couples (mostly lesbian, interestingly enough) or implied romances, but the focus definitely goes to the world building in all cases.
Actually, the world building was one of my issues as well, perhaps because of the prompt. The authors were told to write of what the world is like AFTER some calamity or the switch from utopia to dystopia or whatever, not to write about the transition. As such, many authors did not bother to explain how things evolved into their particular After. The perfect example is a story I would have really liked, except that there was no reasoning behind it: "Blood Drive" by Jeffrey Ford. In "Blood Drive," gun control lost. Kids take guns to school; every single one. They have quick draw contests and all sorts of accidents when people forget to take the safety off. Unfortunately, without knowing HOW the world went from metal detectors in schools to prevent kids bringing weapons to encouraging it (even the teachers have weapons), I can't appreciate the story.
Overall, there were more stories I either didn't like or didn't care about than ones I did, which is why I'm just giving this a three. Some stories obviously would rate much higher with me, but altogether there were a number I had to suffer through. If you feel free to skip the ones that don't resonate with you, I think it's well worth reading After, because there are some amazing stories in here.”
“With the continued growth and interest in YA Dystopian lit this is a great collection to feed your love of short fiction. Some authors in this book were familiar to me but quite a few were new and I am going to go look for other writing they have done. All these stories have great plots and characters and some I felt might make great full length books. from metal eating bugs to a world turned plastic. This is a definite must read.”ElvinaGB wrote this review Friday, August 3, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No