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Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon — these are our guides through the Wastelands…

From the to ; from to , storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving eschatological tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. In doing so, these visionary authors have addressed one of the most challenging and enduring themes of imaginative fiction: the nature of life in the aftermath of total societal collapse.

Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of speculative fiction — including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King — explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon. Whether the end of the world comes through nuclear war, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm, these are tales of survivors, in some cases struggling to rebuild the society that was, in others, merely surviving, scrounging for food in depopulated ruins and defending themselves against monsters, mutants, and marauders.

Complete with introductions and an indispensable appendix of recommendations for further reading, delves into this bleak landscape, uncovering the raw human emotion and heart-pounding thrills at the genre’s core.

John Joseph Adams is the assistant editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and a freelance writer. His website is .

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse

В мире, где сосуществуют технология и волшебство, живет Куп, вор, специализирующийся на кражах магических объектов. Но у Купа началась черная полоса – бросила девушка, а верный друг сдал его полиции. И на этом невезуха не закончилась. Пути Купа пересеклись с магом мистером Вавилоном, с Бейлисс и Нельсоном – агентами Департамента необычайных наук, с зомби, вампирами, демонами, русскими магическими спецслужбами, а также с двумя конкурирующими сектами – последователями Калексимуса и Аваддона, желающими устроить конец света. И всем им позарез понадобилась некая шкатулка, за которой уже 4 тысячи лет охотится ангел Кассиил. Все бы ничего, только украсть эту шкатулку должен именно Куп, иначе убьют девушку, которая его бросила, и друга, сдавшего его полиции…

Spyder Lee is a happy man who lives in San Francisco and owns a tattoo shop. One night an angry demon tries to bite his head off before he's saved by a stranger. The demon infected Spyder with something awful - the truth. He can suddenly see the world as it really is: full of angels and demons and monsters and monster-hunters. A world full of black magic and mysteries. These are the Dominions, parallel worlds full of wonder, beauty and horror. The Black Clerks, infinitely old and infinitely powerful beings whose job it is to keep the Dominions in balance, seem to have new interests and a whole new agenda. Dropped into the middle of a conflict between the Black Clerks and other forces he doesn't fully understand, Spyder finds himself looking for a magic book with the blind swordswoman who saved him. Their journey will take them from deserts to lush palaces, to underground caverns, to the heart of Hell itself.

First published in the Infinite Matrix, www.infinitematrix.net, April 2005

In 2007 published re-edited as novel - “Butcher Bird: A Novel of the Dominion”

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