It’s the end of the road!
Today features our last set of stories. It’s been a super fun few weeks, and I’ve been so glad to share this book with you and hear your thoughts! If you’re new to the read-along, you can check out the starting post here, or just jump on to read the stories we’re finishing up with this week. You can answer the questions in the comments, or answer on your own blog and share a link below.
Below are our last set of discussion questions. As usual, I’ve given a one line reminder of sorts for each story before the question. And again, while some of these questions are more reflective and thoughtful, I also wanted some to be just plain fun. Here we go!
Discussion Questions: Stories 13-15
1. In “Spider-silk, Strong as Steel,” we give nightmares to all those with arachnophobia (i.e. Emm goes scavenging). What creature would you most fear facing in an apocalypse?
2. “No Shit” features Jane and Sam as they road trip through Australia, trying to find other survivors of the recent, deadly plague. Toward the end, Sam remarks on how wonderful it is that everyone they meet appears to be trying to preserve something important, from dairy cows to frozen, fertilized embryos. What one thing would you prioritize preserving?
3. In “I Will Remember You,” Megan is one of only a few “heirs” expected to survive the alien extermination. Megan receives angry messages from some of her friends when they realize that the spots on their hands indicate the number of days they’ll survive. How realistic do you think this response was?
Write a Review!
Take a moment to write a short review of Defying Doomsday (or a longer one, if you prefer), and cross-post it to Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever else you’d like. Share it here too! While it might not seem like it, reviews make a huge difference on a few counts: (1) they help other readers identify if the book will be a good match for them, (2) they can help spread the word about the book through social networks, and (3) stores like Amazon promote a book more the more reviews it has (it fires up algorithms to show the book in things like the “Customers also bought” sections). Really, anytime you read a book you love, especially an indie or small press book, even a review of a few words can make a huge difference!
1. Cockroaches. I feel kinda sick just thinking about it, but I attribute it all to a horrific short story I read as a … pre-teen? I don’t think I was yet a teenager. It centered on this group of adventurers who rappelled down into this abandoned mine that turned out to be infested with, you guessed it, cockroaches. They didn’t make it out alive. I nearly died and still won’t touch horror stories with a ten foot pole.
2. Seed stock and farming / gardening manuals! I’ve done a bit of vegetable gardening, just enough to realize how much I don’t know. Also, maintaining an agrarian society (or what’s left of it) seems important for furthering our ability to do other things too. Hunting and gathering takes a lot of time and energy, taken away from, say, figuring out how to preserve and use other knowledge. And starving to death would not be on my agenda.
3. This reaction was far too familiar and realistic for my own comfort. I’ve seen people lash out with anger toward friends or family when someone “does better” than them for whatever reason–even if it was outside of the person’s control. The idea that someone else might survive when you won’t can turn you into a mean and dangerous person. While I don’t agree with Barbara Colforth’s approach to dealing with the more vocal, angry people later in the story (imprisonment would have worked just as well!), I think their response was right on point for how anger and jealousy work.
I actually wrote a short review for this anthology the first time I read it, so I’m just going to share it here again. Why not? I definitely still stand by it! Here it is:
This book, folks. This book. Just the premise is fantastic: every story features a character with a disability / chronic illness facing the apocalypse. The execution, though? Almost flawless. There were maybe two stories I didn’t really love, and that was probably a matter of taste. The issues, the characters, the details of the apocalypse–so varied, so well done, and so thought-provoking. There was diversity in ability, in race, gender, culture, and each story just sucks you in with all its intricacy and beauty. I don’t really have anything else to say. Read this. You won’t regret it.
Thank you all for an awesome read-along. I’ve really enjoyed it, and hope you did too!