Cover image for Seven for the apocalypse
Seven for the apocalypse
Reed, Kit.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[Middletown, Conn.] : Wesleyan University Press ; Hanover, NH : University Press of New England, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 218 pages ; 23 cm
Voyager -- Rajmahal -- River -- Slumber -- In the palace of the dictator -- On the penal colony -- Little sisters of the apocalypse -- The singing marine.

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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Collects eight of the authors short stories that blends together femininist ideals with science fiction writing.

Author Notes

Kit Reed was born Lillian Craig in San Diego, California on June 7, 1932. She received a bachelor's degree from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1954. In the 1950's, she worked as a reporter for the St. Petersburg Times and for the New Haven Register. She was an author who wrote novels and stories in various genres for children, teens, and adults.

Her short story collections included Mister Da V. and Other Stories; The Revenge of the Senior Citizens; Thief of Lives; Weird Women, Wired Women; Dogs of Truth; What Wolves Know; and The Story Until Now. Her books included Armed Camps, Fort Privilege, @Expectations, Bronze, The Baby Merchant, The Night Children, Son of Destruction, Where, and Mormama. She also wrote several novels under the pen name Kit Craig and a horror novel, Blood Fever, under the pen name Shelley Hyde. She died several months after being diagnosed with a brain tumor on September 24, 2017 at the age of 85.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Like Ursula Le Guin's, Reed's stories are sometimes feminist, sometimes sf, sometimes mainstream, and sometimes all these things at once. "The Little Sisters of the Apocalypse," longest of these seven stories, was inspired by a sign on a church bus that brought to Reed's mind a Mad-Max-with-nuns image. These sisters are nuns on motorcycles, rushing to a high-security enclave of women left there when the men went to war. A crisis looms, thanks to an outlaw band bent on plundering the enclave, the ragged remnants of the army staggering home, and the women wondering whether they want the men back. Here and in the shorter stories, Reed tenderly and comically examines traditional gender roles at all ages and in all situations; quite fantastically, too, in the blackly hilarious "River," in which a home security system falls in love with the homeowner and plots to eliminate his wife. Reed has a clear social agenda but delivers it warmly, with such deft foreshadowing that the reader knows what is coming and yet is surprised at the outcome. --Roberta Johnson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Reed's work (Weird Women, Wired Women; J. Eden) is sometimes arresting, sometimes simply an idiosyncratic blend of feminism and science fiction, represented at its most ambitious by the novella "Little Sisters of the Apocalypse," which takes up more than half the pages in this collection. Written and first published six years ago, but now available in book form for the first time, it is a story of women whose men have gone off to a nameless war ("the ultimate sexist act"), their ambivalence about the males' return, the split within their island community between man-haters and those resigned to living with them and a band of biker nuns who ride to their rescue. It is strikingly visualized and has some genuinely shocking moments, but is marred by some (apparently intentional) banalities, and by the curious interweaving, in brief parentheses, of references to the death of the author's father, a WWII hero; the empty life, long illness and death of the author's mother; and the religious education of the author ("Before feminism, the nuns were the first feminists"). These insights into the author's life are individually affecting but fail to integrate into the imagined narrative. Of the seven briefer stories, "Voyager" is a touching tale of the vulnerability of old people in a Florida hurricane; "River," the most successful, is a chilling study of an advanced electronic security system that comes to cherish one of the family it is designed to protect, with hellish consequences. "In the Palace of the Dictator" is a surreal excursion into the soul of totalitarianism. Reed's stories are strikingly imagined and tautly written, but often they are undercut by a sense of an urgent subtext that somehow fails to be communicated. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

In the Palace of the Dictator
River Slumber
On the Penal Colony
Little Sisters of the Apocalypse
The Singing Marine