Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

corireed's review

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DNF about half way through!

I was culling my TBR shelf on Goodreads and noticed this was still on there! I read about half during The Reading Rush, but won't be finishing.

kukushka's review

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I really loved the variety of stories here. It's not just plague versus ecodisaster, there's also a huge variety of perspectives - including a trans woman trying to maintain her transition once medical infrastructure has broken down.

Even when I didn't particularly like a story, there was still always something unique and interesting going on.

apostrophen's review

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I’ve devoured the entire collection, which was edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. In a word, it’s great. It’s got a huge variety (there are many ways the world can end – a plague of bio-tech sleep, alien invaders, climate collapse and rising seas – and even a ghost apocalypse, which I’ll probably talk about another time), and the location of “Canada” doesn’t limit the book at all.

Quite the opposite. There are so many stories that could only be so better told in Canada, and these tales of the “after” are so freaking well done even before you consider the Canuck content that the inclusion of Canada is just the cherry on top. That I’ve actually been to many of the places mentioned in the stories? Awesome – it just adds another shiver to the spine.

Some stories in specific:

“No Man is a Promontory,” by H.N. Janzen

The thing about post-apocalypse is you know you’re going to get dark stories, and this is no exception. But seeing a place I’ve been to (and lived hear) go this dark? Awesome. Kelowna is the setting for this first story in the collection, and we have a native woman – former military – who has survived the fallout and is keenly aware that food is going to be a major issue. The few people who remain are already turning on each other, and though she herself is by no means soft-hearted – I believe the line is “I’ve stolen food from a woman giving birth” – she finds herself drawn to another survivor, a child.

This story is a great example of how less can be so much more. It’s very short, it’s paints a vivid picture of this post-apocalyptic world without listing detail after detail or painstaking world building, and boils down the narrative to a keen edge. And the last line is both chilling and inspiring – in a dark, broken way.

“Matthew, Waiting,” by [a:A.C. Wise|4451294|A.C. Wise|]

I have a friend I’ve known and worked with for years. She, like me, worked the horror that was Christmas Retail every year and made it through more-or-less mentally unscathed. One year, her mall hired a guy with a whole bunch of musical instruments (read: noisemakers) that he would hand out to a bunch of bored and over-sugared kids, and then head lead them through making music (read: noise). This happened in front of her store, while she was working, and it was torture.

To this, my awesome friend walked to the front of the store and called out, “Needs more cowbell!”

Some people can take something awful and still have fun with it and think about it in a new way. A.C. Wise took an apocalypse and added Anne of Freaking Green Gables! Seriously! Like, this is someone who looks at the end of the world and thinks, Needs more Anne.

I want to be A.C. Wise’s friend. You should, too.

I don’t want to ruin any facet of this story, which is so clever and grounded in a psychology that is as devastating as it is realistic. Taking an iconic piece of Canadian culture and twisting it “just so” into this dark (and yet darkly moving) story was a small stroke of genius in an already solid anthology. It was by far my favourite, and has been the “selling point” I’ve been using with all my friends.

“Post-apocalyptic Canadian Fiction,” I say.

“Huh,” they say, interested, sure, but not sold yet.

“There’s a post-apocalyptic Anne of Green Gables story.”

“What? Really?” Their eyes widen and their fingertips shake, already wanting the book. “What’s the collection called again?”

helmagnusdottir's review

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Damn, this anthology had some awesome stories. I was particularly excited and thrilled by Morgan M. Page's story - which is a unique angle on the post-apocolypse for a group of folks who often get pushed to the margins, even in non-future-wasteland times.