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Q&A: ‘At the World’s End’ and dystopia with Catherine Fisher


At the World’s End by Catherine Fisher is a brand-new dystopian adventure that will spread chills down your spine. We quizzed Catherine about her favourite apocalyptic reads, living in a department store and rumours of a sequel”¦

For Teens | Reading Age 8

For Teens | Reading Age 8

Q: At the World’s End is set in a frozen world, seven years after a poisonous star wiped out human life. A group of people have survived by holing up in the Store, a building designed to withstand a terrorist attack. When you wrote the book, were you thinking about climate change in the real world?
Not really, because here the threat to life comes from outside the planet. And the climate change caused by the Star is extreme. I think climate change for us will be more slow and gradual, and will be caused by human carelessness and greed, but will still have deadly effects.

Q: At the start of the book, Caz and Will have been in the store for seven years. If you had to choose a place of safety to spend seven years, would you choose a department store or some other place?
I just loved the idea of living in a department store! All that stuff ”“ and most of it totally useless. If I had to choose a place, in reality I would pick a supermarket; lots of food and water. But maybe a bookshop would be best, at least you would never get bored.

Q: How well do you think you would cope living inside for all that time?
I would be hopeless because I am a bit claustrophobic and have to get outside: I can’t stand small spaces or being locked in. So I would be one of the first to go out.

Q: You’re well-known for your dystopian fiction ”“ is this a genre you like to read as well as write? Which authors are your favourites?
I am interested in end-of-the-world stories. Famous ones like Day of the Triffids or The Purple Cloud, and other old lost stories like Richard Jefferies’ After London, or William Hope Hodgeson’s The Night Land. The best one is probably The Road by Cormac McCarthy, which is truly terrifying.

Q: At the World’s End is dyslexia-friendly. Has reading always come easily to you or have you ever struggled with it?
I have always been an avid reader and learned to read early. I read a few books a week and always have something ready to read next. It’s one of life’s great pleasures and you learn so much from books.

Q: We want to find out more about Caz and Will! Is there going to be a sequel?
There will be a sequel! I can’t tell you anything about it yet, but I hope it will be exciting and a bit scary too.

Many thanks to Catherine Fisher for letting us interview her about her new dystopia-themed book. You can read the first chapter of At the World’s End and buy the book here.

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