Hello and welcome back to the Friday Fiction Feature. As most of you now know, Tabatha (your illustrious series editor extraordinaire) is working as both a student and a teacher. Because of this she feels doubly entitled to panic about the inspiration for this week’s theme: The academic’s bianual cry of “Oh-my-the-semester-is-almost-over-oh-dear-wow-it’s-really-getting-way-too-close-oh-no-but-I’m-not-ready-ah-crap!” And so, without further ado, Tabatha invites all her fellow panicked academics to join in this week’s theme: THE END IS NIGH!
The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych #1) edited by John Joseph Adams
We will begin with a broad version of the end-of-semester-panic with The Apocalypse Triptych. Covering the before, during, and after of the apocalypse, The End is Nigh/Now/Come Takes us through the various stages of “Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!” For a closer parallel, these novels take us on the global version of what the rest of us experience every semester: The End is Nigh showing the larger version of “Wait it’s due when?! How much grading?!” as we come to realize that it will all come crashing down around us soon. The End is Now takes us to the bartering stage, when the due dates have arrived and we are simply trying to weather the storm, hoping students won’t notice if we forget to come to class, and that teachers will decide there’s really no point in writing that twenty page paper after all, followed by the knowledge that those events are about as likely as hoping our house will be left fully intact after the tornado/hurricane/snowstorm blows through town. And finally, The End is Now covers that foolish moment of relief when we have written all our papers, when the grading is finished, and before we realize…next semester is only a few weeks away.
Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.
But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild. The Apocalypse Triptych will tell their stories.
Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, The Apocalypse Triptych is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. The End is Nigh focuses on life before the apocalypse. The End is Now turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And The End Has Come focuses on life after the apocalypse.
The End Of The World Is Nigh by Scott Lefebvre
This next book provides a view of the end-times that I really like. It is a living document which incorporates a growing number of stories from different perspectives. No one experiences the end in quite the same way: some are done in by a twenty-five page essay on the pauses in British Drama, others are subsumed in a flood of confused freshmen, still others are simply lost to us when they realize that their perfect schedules forgot to account for seven major projects, immolated somewhere in the crater formed when they fell back down to earth. To reflect the wide and varied ways we all panic and yet manage to survive, we have The End of the World is Nigh sharing the stories of death, destruction, Armageddon, (though I doubt if any of them can top having to spend writing breaks grading freshman essays. That horror is all too real for many of us).
It’s ten years after the world as we know it has ended in the wake of a worldwide overpopulation problem and food scarcity. Food-rationing results in panic and the downfall of society as we know it. The world is taken over by the dead and the living must fight for survival against the remainder of the world population after society has collapsed. The first crowd-funded, crowd-sourced, post-apocalyptic, zombie epidemic, novel-length book project, For an affordable contribution, you can have your life story written as a survivor in this post-apocalyptic world.
Countdown!…or How Nigh Is the End? by Patrick Moore
Every teacher knows (or knows of) the creative student. No, not the one who comes up with interesting paper topics or inspires really great class discussion. The other creative kid. The one who has an intricate & amusing story every week to explain why his/her homework is not done. The one who can weave global events, local catastrophe, and a broken shoelace into the explanation of why he/she forgot a thesis in the last paper. Well take heart long-suffering teachers for in Countdown I have found the illustrious career path awaiting these most frustrating of students where their creativity and persuasive skills will really shine.
Light-hearted but informative guide to the eccentrics, visionaries, rabble rousers and fanatics throughout history who have predicted the end of the world. Subjects under discussion include the threat from outer space, astrological predictions and even some scientific evidence of the world’s end.
The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction by Wendy Northcutt
Whether it is your own writing or a student’s, there will always be essays that make you wonder if the writer is trying to see just how badly they have to do before the staff breaks down and literally boots them out off campus. When the ideas have all the focus of a toddler in a toy store, and the grammar can only have come from a cell phone keyboard, spectacular self-immolation seems the only possible rationale.
So when writing/grading really makes you wonder, you can always pick up The Countdown to Extinction and just remember, at least there will always be someone to rival the metaphorical spectacular self-destruction of end of the year writing with a literal version of their own.
Fully illustrated and featuring all-new tales of the marvelously macabre, “The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction” chronicles the astonishing acts of individuals who have taken a swan dive into the shallow end of the gene pool. From attaching a five-horsepower engine to a barstool, to hammering a metal hook into an explosive device, to using a taser to treat a snake bite, these gloriously gruesome incidents prove that the countdown (to human extinction) is well under way. And we won’t exit this mortal coil without one last laugh.
Guidebook to the End of the World: The End Is Nigh by Cj Kuehler
Finally, our altruistic streak is going to peek through again with the Guidebook to the End of the World. It falls to us yet again to see that our beloved readers are prepared for every eventuality, and it is no different today. The end is nigh, and so we’ve brought you a handy-dandy instruction manual for getting through it!
Now I know what you’re thinking: building an underground bunker stocked with twelve years worth of beans, army surplus weaponry, and tinfoil hats is not going to ease my end-of-semester workload. But let me just ask you this: how many professors & students do you think will follow the crazy person down into that bunker to discuss the final essay? See? I told you we had all the answers.
Is the end of the world coming? Are you prepared? Here’s your guidebook to help you survive. Learn what to expect and what you are about to experience when the economy collapses. This is a work of fiction and contains adult situations.