This World and the Next / Dave Essinger

Original price was: $17.95.Current price is: $10.00.

This World and the Next

a novel by

Dave Essinger

~300 pages, ISBN: 978-1-964277-02-8, $17.95 (+ shipping)

Projected Release Date: September/October, 2024

An Advance Sale Discount price of $10 (+ shipping) is available HERE prior to press time. This price is not available anywhere else or by check. The check price is $14/book (which includes shipping & sales tax) and should be sent to: Main Street Rag, 4416 Shea Lane, Charlotte, NC 28227. 

PLEASE NOTE: Ordering in advance of the release date entitles the buyer to a discount. It does not mean the book will ship before the date posted above and the price only applies to copies ordered through the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.


Synopsis:  This World and the Next 

After a dysfunctional government gives way to rioting and blackouts, teenage Rosa Calder’s group takes shelter deep beneath an Ohio airbase, and when they finally emerge, nothing works and everyone is gone. Elsewhere, her father has disappeared on a classified mission, a nihilistic biochemical researcher roams the countryside incinerating the victims of a weaponized psychedelic neurotoxin, and gritty runaway Julia discovers a grisly antidote to the epidemic as messianic survivors work to end humanity on the Earth. Rosa and her snarky BFF Hannah, along with her obnoxious little brother and some idiot jocks from the football team, are left to rebuild society and find out what went wrong in a coming-of-age story for the end of the world.

Dave Essinger’s first novel about ultrarunning, Running Out, was published by Main Street Rag Publishing Company. Other recent writing appears in Gargoyle, Sport Literate, Midwestern Gothic, and elsewhere. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has been General Editor of the AWP Intro Journals Project since 2016. He currently teaches creative writing and edits the literary magazines Slippery Elm and From the Writers’ Kitchen at the University of Findlay, in Ohio.

It’s the end of the world as we know it—and in a way we’ve never experienced it. Dave Essinger takes on a familiar subject—the apocalypse—in a distinct, unsettling, surprising, and riveting way. There’s horror here, of course. But there’s also humor. And a feisty young female pilot. And…maybe…hope. ~Mark Brazaitis, author of American Seasons and The Incurables: Stories


They were counted off and moved toward a stairwell. Behind them, the enormous doors they’d entered through, at least three stories high, began to laboriously slide closed. Rosa heard a great creaking, as of disused wheels rolling in their tracks.

Had she known then where it would lead, she might have risked separating from the group, just for a minute, running back toward the huge doors for just another glance at the narrowing slice of sky and, below it, already black and powerless and inert, the skyline of the world she’d known. But of course, the only question anyone’s mind could form then was, How long?

In the moment, even as they were unloading wagons and strollers and carts, choosing armloads of most-essentials for the first long trip down the series of corridors and stairs, everything still was only a precaution. They were overreacting, keeping on the safe side, with every expectation they’d be back quickly for the remainder of their belongings.

They descended stairs until the air felt different, making slow progress with someone always stopping to arrange their load, or flex their stiffening arms. Finally, they entered a long corridor, and a ceiling full of yellow lights popped on in panels. Everyone blinked.

The last room had a thick metal door. A soldier said some things about air and water filtration, and how to work a generator, and sleeping quarters. “Once I seal this door,” he said, “even I can’t get back in,” which to Rosa sounded overly dramatic. “Does anyone want to change their minds?” Rosa felt her mother’s hand on her shoulder, pulling her firmly to her.

“OK,” the soldier said, and nodded. “This could all be over in twenty-four hours.”

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