Among the Dead and Other Events Leading to the Apocalypse
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A marvelous collection of wickedly apocalyptic stories by a two-time Nebula Award winning author.
Three forlorn people huddle in a mausoleum of the frozen dead; they are the sole survivors of a germ-warfare attack that has wiped out the western United States. Their only food supply—the frozen corpses around them. Then, without warning, the refrigerators lose their electricity, and the dead begin to thaw...
Rumors spread that occupants of abandoned cars along a desert highway have been abducted by mammoth birds who hunt people as smaller birds hunt worms for their young. But a college professor decides that might not be such a bad fate...
A little old man in New York's East Village breeds strange animals to feed an overpopulated, food-short world...
In a temple of hallucination, promiscuous love leads to manacled torture and a plaster-bound groin...
Supposedly the next best thing to a woman is a sheep, but there may be consequences...
The ultimate shark story...
A psychopathic hangman discourses with his captive human pendulum...
Stranded at the bottom of a sandy dune, five people struggle endlessly to reach the elusive rim above them—but what lies beyond the rim may hold a worse fate...
These stories by Edward Bryant, reminiscent of Ballard's Vermillion Sands, envision a bleak and forbidding future for man—one in which unheeded warnings have been fatefully fulfilled: too many people, not enough food, not enough work, useless leisure, and the fear—or memory—of cataclysmic war.
His characters live in a chilling world where human values have been either smothered or violently destroyed—a world that is, even now, terrifyingly possible. "Whether our ultimate destination is utopia, dystopia, or Armageddon, we know the curve is headed somewhere. That's a truism. I suspect the curve is directed downward—perhaps completely off the graph. Consider this book a chart; these stories, coordinates."
"Even in a genre where the 'flash-in-the-pan' writer carries a high profile for twenty years before vanishing, there are occasional heat-blasts of talent that presage a long and brilliant career to follow. From the publication of his first story of speculative fiction... it was obvious that Edward Bryant is a writer of depth and compassion, at once au courant and concerned with the timeless study of the human condition...
"In this marvelous collection... he makes an opening statement that will certainly remind readers of fiction-that-stands-the-test-of-time, of Nathanael West, Donald Barthelme, and Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
"He is a fine writer who works with clean hands, composure, and an indefatigable imagination. I recommend his work unequivocally."
Because of Ed's financial needs, almost all the profits from this book go directly to Ed. Donations to help with Ed's medical and other financial needs are also most appreciated via www.FriendsOfEd.org. Thank you!
Critical Acclaim for Edward Bryant and Among the Dead
"Not since Harlan Ellison has there been so energetic an author; when you read Bryant, you are in good hands."
—Theodore Sturgeon, New York Times
"These are contemporary horror stories with monsters more frightening than old-fashioned ghosts and vampires."
"Compelling and totally unnerving."
"Brilliant, mythopoeic science fiction stories of events leading to the Apocalypse."
—E. Nelson Hayes, Boston Patriot Ledger
"...a finely crafted example of justifiable paranoia in black and white; poetic, surrealistic, cynically humorous, and all too believable."
—Jim Anderson, Colorado Daily