Everything Feels Like the End of the World

Paperback, 264 pages

en-Latn-AU language

Published Jan. 1, 2022 by Allen & Unwin.

1 star (1 review)

Everything Feels Like the End of the World is a collection of short speculative fiction exploring possible futures in an Australia not so different from our present day to one thousands of years into an unrecognisable future.

Each story is anchored, at its heart, in what it means to be human: grief, loss, pain and love. A young woman is faced with a difficult choice about her pregnancy in a community ravaged by doubt. An engineer working on a solar shield protecting the Earth shares memories of their lover with an AI companion. Two archivists must decide what is worth saving when the world is flooded by rising sea levels. In a heavily policed state that preferences the human and punishes the different, a mother gives herself up to save her transgenic child.

These transformative stories are both epic and granular, and forever astonishing in their imaginative detail, sense of …

1 edition

well‐boring, yet not penetrating

1 star

The conceit of this being a collection of short stories may have served the writer well in maintaining funding, an audience, and industry connection throughout its composition, but fails the book as an artwork. Its abundance of redundant chapters would betray careless curation, an unwarranted, greedy completionism, were these genuine standalones, containers each of a story. Their emptiness, as even those chapters exceeding a couple of paragraphs remain bare vignette; the dogged homogeneity of concept; the consistent chronology along which they are all chained, the flicker of more‐than‐the‐sum‐of‐its‐parts integration; though, belong to a novel. Or an attempt at a novel.

The speculative urbanism approaches a cool. Some thought, maybe even research, has gone into redesigning an ever more inundated Birrarungga, to fashioning successive layers, up, down, and out, of future Old Melbournes and proposing emergent cultures around these. The evolution of increasingly coastal towns to the east is infinitely …