by Pup Matthias
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Endtown 3, by Aaron Neathery. Foreword by Carol Lay.
Bellevue, WA, Jarlidium Press, December 2015, trade paperback $25.99 (279 [+ 1] pages).
Endtown is an Internet M-W-F comic strip of the dramatic serialized variety rather than the gag humor sort; a Dick Tracy rather than a Pearls Before Swine. It’s dystopian post-apocalyptic science fiction with funny animals. To quote a blurb, “A mutagenic plague followed by a global war fought with disintegration weaponry has left much of the Earth a desert of fine powder and what remains of humanity fragmented into humans, animal-like mutants, and bloodthirsty monstrosities with lots of teeth. The surface, still teeming with the mutagenic virus, has become the domain of the dreaded Topsiders; well-organized, technologically advanced, and heavily armed un-mutated humans sworn to exterminate mutations of any kind in order to clear the way for the eventual resurgence of a new, genetically clean humanity. Faced with annihilation, mutants and “impure” humans have retreated into the depths of the planet to form communities and hope to win, or at least survive, what may prove to be mankind’s final war.”
Endtown is set six years after the global doomsday war. The surface of the world is a lifeless desert. Most humans are dead, either killed in the war or mutated by the plague into mindless, horrific, ravening monsters. The only exceptions are those who were unconscious or asleep when the plague changed them; those became anthropomorphized animals with their minds and memories intact. Six years later, the world is divided between the Topsiders, the remaining humans who live in airtight protective suits and kill anyone else they find as a non-human plague carrier, and the animal-peoples who live underground in hidden towns.