Friday, December 07, 2012

Review: The People's Apocalypse

The People's Apocalypse
The People's Apocalypse by Ariel Gore and Jenny Forrester

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This book is as highly varied as it sounds from the description, and it's as hard to sum up in a short review as it was difficult for me to put down! I was just eternally curious what the next short story or informational article would be.

The People's Apocalypse is divided into 7 section: Revelations, Plans, Signs, Visions, Cataclysms, Demons and Saviors and my favorite entries include the very practical "Preparedness 101," "You'll Need a Solar Oven," and "You Might Need Urban Goats," the heart-rending "Tsunami Warning," the inspirational "To Hell With Chicken Little," "Happy Endings," and "Revolution," the meditative and sad "The End Times Project" and "After the Very First Quiet Morning," and the musings on different possible outcomes of one event of "Biochemical Weapon Zombie Dog Dream: A Political Allegory."

Some of these pieces are quite explicitly political as well, with analyses ranging from environmentalist, radical people of color, class politics, religious politics and politics of place. Some pieces weave these elements in more subtly. But again, the strength is, I believe, in the variety of points of view, content and style.

One glaring critique for me: the indeed erotic "Erotalyptica" was also unfortunately very heteronormative and obliviously racist (relegating Mayan peoples to the past, as if they do not still exist). Were I an editor I would have certainly pointed the latter out and probably the former too, given the story's premise. Frankly, some queer relationships in the stories in general would have made the book even stronger, they just would have made particular sense included in that story.

All said and done I think this is a unique and totally worthwhile read.

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