Some Ways the World May End

Four Horsemen of Apocalypse

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. 1887.

“Here’s a song guaranteed to bring you down. It’s called ‘Don’t Let It Bring You Down’.” – Neil Young introducing that song on 4 Way Street

The year just ended, and before you get too optimistic about the new year, here is a book about the End that just might bring you down to Earth. It’s called The Apocalypse Reader and it is a collection of 34 short stories about the end of the world. It is filled with Doomsday scenarios by writers old & new, famous and not so famous, all looking into the future and finding it gone.

The short story isn’t a popular form these days. It has disappeared from many magazines that I used to read them in, like Esquire. That doesn’t seem logical to me. In this time of rushed schedules, too little time and too many inputs, I would have guessed stories would get more attention than novels. Of course, by that theory, poetry should be selling even better.

I discovered this one via an interview online with the collection’s editor, Justin Taylor. One story they include online is actually a funny zombie tale by Jeff Goldberg that you can listen to called “These Zombies Are Not a Metaphor.” Some poor guy is trying to convince his idiot roommates that the zombies outside their door are not a metaphor for something else, but are quite literally zombies.

Okay, maybe this book won’t bring you down.