The end of the world might come in many forms: ecological disaster, alien invasion, cosmic chaos…the possibilities for destruction seem endless. So, how will those facing the end of the world deal with impending doom? The fourteen talented authors of Fiction River's latest volume explore just that. From an intrepid adventurer fleeing a world-destroying terror to a man who discovers the most savage destroyers of civilization are closer than he thought, to a chilling tale of our whole planet hurled into the icy black reaches of space, these gripping stories demonstrate why Astro Guyz calls Fiction River "a wonderful, mind-expanding read."
Table of Contents
"String of Pearls" by Eric Kent Edstrom
"The Shoes I Wore This Morning" by J. Daniel Sawyer
"The Dust Devil, the Riffraff, and the Big Orange Sunset" by Valerie Brook
"Goin' to the Chapel" by Rebecca M. Senese
"With Wings the End" by Rob Vagle
"Cogs in the Machine" by Paul Eckheart
"The Faerie Invasion" by Anthea Sharp
"Demon-touched" by Travis Heermann
"Same Time Next Year" by M. E. Owen
"The Story That Has to Be Written" by Louisa Swann
"Tyrph Rights" by David Stier
"Paradox. Lost." by Stefon Mears
"The Night of Brahma" by Leigh Saunders
"Three Degrees Above Zero" by Doug Dandridge
"These enjoyable twisting short stories seem more like a stop in the Twilight Zone than pulp fiction."– Midwest Book Review on Fiction River: Recycled Pulp
"[Fiction River] is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today. Check out an issue and see why I say that."– Keith West, Adventures Fantastic
Facing the Nightmare
Growing up as a child of the Cold War, I've long been preoccupied with the potential demise of civilization as we know it. I remember practicing air raid drills in middle school—nose pressed against my knees, hands clasped behind my head, wondering all the while how this would help me if a nuclear bomb really did get dropped on us.
I remember the constant fear that threaded through our existence, the fear of nuclear war, a fear that never really went away. Because we all knew…should the bombs drop, the world as we knew it would end. Simple cause and effect.
As the years went on, the Cold War warmed but all sorts of new potential disasters arose: AIDS, Ebola, Y2K, Global Warming, terrorism, asteroids, the end of the Mayan calendar…the list goes on. The more the information age advances, the more aware we become of things that could end us once and for all, and the more fearful we can become. (And no, I did not inadvertently leave the Zombie Apocalypse off the list…)
But despite all this doom and gloom is a cheery upside. What wonderful fodder for fiction writing this plethora of potential endings brings.
The incredibly talented John Helfers, our editor for this volume, presents fourteen hand-picked stories for this latest volume of Fiction River, which takes readers on a journey from the tension of awaiting the apocalypse, to the terror of experiencing it, to the hope and hopelessness of trying to survive the end.
I will warn you: This is not light reading. But the intensity of the subject at hand is wonderfully conveyed by these amazing authors.
As you'll read in John's introduction, the end of the world is one of his favorite topics. Given that he and I are the same age, I'm not surprised. I must remember to reminisce with him one of these days about the Cold War.
But first, I advise you to buckle up. You're in for one hell of a ride.
Lincoln City, Oregon
November 16th, 2015