THE GIRL AT THE END OF THE WORLD – BOOK 2 by ADELE WEARING (ed)
PB, 427 pages, Fox Spirit
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A rich and varied collection of stories centered around a simple theme – women and girls and the ends of their worlds. Sometimes these apocalypses have been recent, sometimes years have passed, but the land, and the women who live on it, still bear the scars. And whether that’s on earth following a hideous plague (opener The Weed Wife by C Allegra Hawksmoor, or far beyond the solar system where Kara Lee takes her heroine Kay in Were Stars to Burn, in all these circumstances women are surviving as best they can in a post-apocalyptic universe. Sometimes they resort to cannibalism (Shirtless in Antarctica by Justin Brooks), sometimes to the law of the gun (Savage Times by Paul Starkey, which is a highlight of this collection.)
I always try to pick out a few highlights of any anthology I’m reviewing, and there are a lot of highlights here. As well as the aforementioned Were Stars to Burn and Savage Times, I also feel I should give a mention to closer The Dragon’s Maw by Cheryl Morgan, which takes us not just to the end of the world, but the end of all worlds…
Other stories that stood out for me in this very fine collection were The Sharks of Market Street by Michael Ezell, set in a flooded and patriarchal San Francisco, and Vanquish, by N.O.A Rawle, in which a hardened eco-warrior takes things a little bit too far…
All in all, if you need a book to take into your bunker with your canned goods to wait out the end of the world, this substantial book would be pretty good company.