Shrieks, excoriating agony, mind-shattering abasement, irredeemable loss, vaporization. Okay, curling up with 53 visions of the end of the world isn’t everyone’s idea of entertainment.
Yet there’s something compelling about going head-on with anxiety and even outright terror. The need to face the things beyond our control, ranging from possible harm to loved ones, death, and the all-too-possible end of everything has a long tradition in fantastic fiction.
Beyond the realistic fears that can keep us up at night, the realm of the unseen and unknown casts its own pall over the imagination. All over the world tales tell of supernatural and indeterminate forces and beings, things beyond our ken that can affect our lives in evil and annihilating ways.
The human mind keeps asking, and then what?
Storytellers take the challenge and go there, to those last moments, into the eye of the ending.
And so Apokrupha unleashes Vignettes From the End of the World, packed with flashes that detail the end of days, in narratives ranging from the quiet to the disturbingly explicit. Here’s an apocalyptic anthology that delves into the shadowy places, the squishy places, and the places where the light becomes too bright because it’s over and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Apocalypse. From ancient times writers have rendered the final days — or moments — of everything we think we know in the seen and unseen realms in vivid detail.
Whether we envision planetary destruction by existing weapons, a crushing, unknown power rendering us defenseless and done, a multi-stage last days based on a spiritual tradition — with or without four horsemen — or something intangible that gnaws at our minds, warning us that any day could be the last for all of us, there’s strange comfort in facing those fears, fleshed out, or with their flesh ripped off.
For some of us, the more we look, the more we have to, the deeper we need to go into those shadows and the shafts of light that make the raw places harder to bear.
I take pleasure in facing the apocalypse with the talented writers who contributed to Vignettes From the End of the World. With no slight intended to anyone not listed, the authors include E. Catherine Tobler, David Turnbull, Marie DesJardin, Michael Haynes, Rose Blackthorn, S.R. Mastrantone and many fine voices new to me. Edited by Jacob Haddon, assisted by the Apokrupha crew, the anthology sports a terrific cover by Rob Ford. Come join us in this cathartic adventure.
If you haven’t done it yet — dived into fear for the thrill and release of it — give it a try, and give this wicked rush as a gift. It’s available in multiple digital formats and in paper. Curl up with apocalyptic visions that might leave you hooked and wanting more. Apokrupha has that effect.