A vast caravan of RVs roam the United States. A girl grows a unicorn horn, complicating her small-town friendships and big city ambitions. A young lady on a spaceship bonds with her AI warden while trying to avoid an arranged marriage. In Allegra Hyde's universe nothing is as it seems, yet the challenges her characters face mirror those of our modern age. Spanning the length of our very solar system, the fifteen stories in this collection explore a myriad of potential futures, all while reminding us that our world is precious, and that protecting it has the potential to bring us all together.
A beautiful parade of conceits that are all distinct and self-contained, but driving in essentially the same direction ... Climate fiction does not owe readers hope, but through humor and humanity Hyde manages to present a harsh reality without descending into despair, offering a space for mourning and for reimagining life in a permanently changed world. Each of the 15 stories is swiftly paced and engaging, rich with detail, highlighting and celebrating nature as it borders on the unnatural.
The paradox of finding something decent—or, at the very least, something essentially human—amidst all the terrors and general badness lying in wait for the inhabitants of our planet is at the heart of Hyde’s collection ... While The Last Catastrophe is a brilliant collection from many angles, Hyde particularly excels in one notoriously difficult way: making the amorphous and incomprehensible aspects of climate change and its effects feel tangibly real.
There’s a sublime, filmic quality to the stories, in which Hyde expertly inverts the familiar ... We're invited along on an often bizarre ride in which we see the ridiculousness of our own world reflected back at us, with Hyde managing to stress the urgency of the climate catastrophe without lecturing us.