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I'm such a big fan of this collection, which takes a simple premise -- there are a lot of different ways the world could end, and a lot of different people who could tell those stories -- and pulls together a set of stories that shows how diverse, how complicated, and how lovely it can be.
While the collection strikes a lot of tones -- funny, contemplative, heartbreaking, loving, hopeful, afraid -- it feels focused and polished throughout.
Some of my favorites are Sylvia Heike's "Winter in My Bones," Caroline Yoachim's "An Impromptu Guide to Finding Your Soulmate at a Party on the Last Night of the World," Nathan Crowder's "The Last Real Man," Dusty Wallace's "Not Even a Whimper," Kristopher Triana's "Dog Years," and Mary Mascari's "Limbo."
If you know me, and know that I can't normally read horror, you might question why I would pick up a collection of apocalypse stories. I don't know. It sounded great, and I know that this publisher tends to highlight humor, art, and wit. So I tried it. And I couldn't stop reading.
I'm so glad that I read this. Even with my extraordinary low tolerance for horror, there were only a handful of places where I was cringing. (And it does amp up a bit near the end.)
So I guess if you're like me, proceed with caution. There is a level of terror and gore. If you're not like me, it's actually very light horror.
My bottom line is - I loved how they took the common theme of "end of world short fiction" and...celebrated the world out of it. The stories are quality throughout the whole book. They are creative. They are trippy and creepy and amazing. It was...satisfying.
If this theme appeals to you and you've like to see really creative takes on an old theme, you will not be disappointed.
(Note: I did finish reading it right before the pandemic, so I don't know how that experience would change now? I think most of us were already feeling a way even then.)
Charity Tabmaseb, In a Manner of Speaking – Wow, what a mesmerizing story! To explain it, would be spoilers. Well written, interesting and suspenseful, and what an ending!
The following are not in Selfies, but Charity Tabmaseb's writing style is so intriguing and mesmerizing I read all these books in one day. Couldn't help it, she's good at her craft.
Charity Tabmaseb, Just a Matter of Time – A serious stop at crazy-town; what a great short story. I love it! I’ve read several of her short stories and they have all been entertaining. Well written, complete with humor, good characters and an interesting, cool story line.
Charity Tabmaseb, The Maze: Three Tales of the Future – Three interesting stories, all well written and quickly read. Perfect for coffee breaks or a few minutes relaxation, but you’ll read them all in one sitting. Has a bonus story: Ghost in the Coffee Machine; Coffee and Ghosts: Episode 1 and a peek at Episode 2, which I didn’t read either here.
The Maze #1 – It’s not what you think, the maze is pretty cool. Well written, interesting and intriguing.
What Little Remains #2 – Interesting, there’s hope amongst the destruction and a bit of travel.
Inside Out #3 – Prisons come in all types and this pampered, but forgotten girl lives in one. Interesting, intriguing and a surprise. End of The Maze.
Charity Tabmaseb, Straying from the Path – An interesting set of fairy tales! This is my first book by this author and I admit I love her writing style. Humor; intrigue; suspense; and a touch of romance.
With Hair of Teeth and Claw – I must admit I like this witch better than the original witch of the Rapunzel fame. The story was unique and interesting and entertaining. Well written with some very lovable characters.
A Most Marvelous Pair of Boots – A hilarious twist on Puss in Boots. Short but very entertaining!
An Army of Toads – A delightful story with a cast of characters not expected to perform as they do in this entertaining fairy tale.
Straying from the Path – Red and her wolf; different, short but great ending. Gretel and Hansel – Different, but with a good ending.
How Goldi Lost Her Locks – Aww, I wish there was more to this story, but it’s good just as it is, too.
End of Straying from the Path. I contacted the author to review her books.
Selfies from the end of the world: historical accounts of the apocalypse is edited by Zimmerman and Vogel. They have chosen 28 dystopian stories about 5 pages long - double space would be preferable. They all stand alone and not one is better than the other. But if I had to choose - The Adventures of Zhombiegirl by Garrett Croker. All in all a great read as you are presented with different ways you could die.