I think I got an ARC via Jennifer Ellis, who is one of the wonderful authors in this anthology of dystopia, or rather apocalypse, short stories. The twist is that they all feature a ‘companion animal’ or a would-be one (although one of them may have been a feral dog). Hence the very clever ‘Tails’ of the title.
The authors of these stories were largely unknown to me, and many have written stories that fit into their established post-apocalypse worlds. The introductions give a good idea of what the rest of their work might be like, and at least four authors I’d like to follow-up. That in itself is praise for the stories, but really, there isn’t a dud in them, and most of them are heart warming and heart breaking stories, that anyone who has ever loved an animal will enjoy – and relive the pain of separation. If it also gives you the “what if” question – as in “what if I didn’t come home one day; how would my pets cope?”, then make some plans for that eventuality and make sure you carry a card on you at all times!
The stories are so varied; there are many individually loved, home-loving pets, as well as rescue, petshop, and wild animals. The post-apocalyptic worlds tend to divide between a few months or years after, when gang rule is established, with varying consequences, and actual, BOOM, here it is now – but you’ve survived (or maybe not). Some of the stories survive in my increasingly bad memory better than others, but every time I say ‘good boy’ to one of my guinea pigs, I can hear Emily’s dog talking – he knows he’s a good boy, because Emily told him so. That was one of the best, and most heart-breaking, I think (since I’m tearing up at the memory, it must be!).
Whether you like animals or like ideas about how to survive the Big One, or even just because you like really good stories, buy this book. The proceeds go to a very apt charity, Vets for Pets.
Tails of the Apocalypse by Chris Pourteau, et al.
Links to Goodreads: Chris Pourteau , David Adams, Stefan Bolz , David Bruns , Michael Bunker , Nick Cole , Jennifer Ellis, Harlow C. Fallon , Hank Garner , E.E. Giorgi , Deirdre Gould , Edward W. Robertson , Steven Savile , and Mary Buckham