cover image After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia

After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia

Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. Hyperion, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4231-4619-3

Looking for happily ever after? Look elsewhere. These 19 original tales of technology gone wrong, disease run rampant, and Earth's inhabitants struggling to survive are dark, heavy, and filled with foreboding. They are also well-crafted%E2%80%94each with its own flavor and texture%E2%80%94creating a collection to be savored, pondered, and enjoyed. Frequent collaborators and anthologists Datlow and Windling have assembled a crew of writers that includes Cecil Castellucci, Gregory Maguire, Susan Beth Pfeffer, and Beth Revis. Garth Nix offers an unsettling prelude to Shade's Children with a short story set 10 years prior to the events of that novel. Carrie Ryan's chilling love story takes place in a diseased and dangerous world, while Matthew Kressel presents a comically sad game of baseball in a devastated world where strange, alien creatures lurk. And Steven Gould contributes a haunting portrait of a society overridden by metal-eating bugs. Readers thirsting for more material in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Eleventh Plague will be satisfied with the array of tales offered and marvel at just how bleak Earth's future can look. Ages 12%E2%80%93up. (Nov.)