Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Land of Ash / David Dalglish

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Short Story

Approximate word count: 30-35,000

Availability Kindle: YES    Nook: YES    Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon or B&N store


Growing up on a Missouri farm, David Dalglish normally writes fantasy. This includes two series, the Shadowdance Triology and the five volume Half-Orc series. For more on Dalglish, visit his web site.


"The Yellowstone Caldera has erupted once every 600,000 years. We're 40,000 years overdue.”

Although David Dalglish wrote the majority of the stories in this collection, it also includes contributions from David McAfee, Daniel Arenson, John Fitch V, Michael Crane, and Robert Duperre.


Start with the assumption that the Yellowstone Caldera has erupted. Assume people know what's coming - a large dust cloud traveling west to east that will kill many and throw much of the world into the equivalent of a nuclear winter. Then write a series of short stories about how people will react with contributions from a variety of writers. What a great concept.

Given the assumptions, how would you react? Would you hunker down and wait for the inevitable? Would you flee, hoping to outrun the cloud or at least prolong life as long as possible? Would you maximize the enjoyment of what little time you had left? The widely different characters in these stories cover a broad spectrum of possible reactions, yet with the overriding assumption as the glue A Land of Ash reads more like a novel than a short story anthology. An added bonus is the chance to be introduced to several new authors.

Format/Typo Issues:

I read this prior to starting the blog, however I believe there were very few, if any, issues at that time.

Rating: ***** Five stars


mmshaunakelley said...

This book sounds really amazing... A similar premise (perhaps?) to World War Z-- examining how humanity reacts to a large-scale threat that makes us an endangered species?

Amazing, and terrifying. I shall have to give it a read.

shana said...

Oooohhh...I agree.
This sounds really, really good.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Al!

Shana Hammaker
Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011

B.Tackitt said...

I have read the book, and BigAl is 100% correct with this review. It was a great compilation of stories.

Catana/Sylvie Mac said...

The assumption that the eruption of a single caldera could create a nuclear winter kills it for me. Unless a book is supposed to be pure fantasy, the basic premise has to be believable.

Journal of Always said...

Depending on the science you ascribe to, it is believable, CSM.

David Dalglish said...

Actually, a lot of it I went by here:

It describes how an 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was heard 1600 miles away, dumping two feet of ash over a 125 miles, affecting even Europe, leading to what they called "the year without summer".

The Yellowstone Caldera is 17 times bigger than that one.

David Dalglish said...

Oh, and shame on me: Thanks for the review, BigAl!!!

Daniel Arenson said...

Thanks for the review, BigAl!

Stormy said...

As interesting as this books sounds I could never read it without being even more paranoid then I am already am.

Donna Fasano said...

I read this book and loved it! Left a review on Amazon.


tjgoldstein said...

this book sounds extremely interesting and I'll be checking it out asap.