Thursday, December 13, 2012

SHINE on

First off, I know I've been a terrible blogger lately.  There's the normal holiday stuff, work stuff, friends and boyfriend stuff, and other seasonal distractions, so I'm sure this will continue until January, but I am still around, and still hard at work on revisions.  I'm a bit halfway through the manuscript at this point, and it really is turning into a rewrite, hence my slowness and preoccupation.  And once I'm done with that, I'll need to write several new scenes and probably do another round or two of revision to get everything cleaned up, and revise my last book, and outline the next one... There's a lot to do, but it's fun!

Look at this gorgeous cover! 
How could you not want to read this?
Anyway, a book rec for you today:  Shine, an anthology edited by Jetse de Vries.

I've had this one sitting on my shelf for a year or two, and have only recently gotten around to reading it.  It's unusual in that it's an anthology of near-future, optimistic science fiction, and those are both qualities we rarely see in the genres these days.  I love my dystopias and my far-future stuff, but the focus of this book is refreshing, and some of the stories are absolutely gorgeous. 

I also appreciate how multicultural and gender-balanced it is, both in its authorship and the settings and casts of the stories.  There's just so much interesting stuff going on in this book, both within it and in the story of its creation, which happened in large part through Twitter and blogs.  de Vries includes a short introduction to each that provides information on how he found the author and why the story was so appealing to his specific vision for the book.

This book is a must-read, and already I've recommended specific stories to friends and acquaintances based on their recent experiences or interests.  It offers a perspective of the genre that is rare these days for avid science fiction fans.  And because it's so near-future, most of the technologies aren't too far out there, so it could appeal to non-SF fans who like contemporary stories or reading about social issues as well.

I don't think there was a single story I disliked, but the standouts for me were:
  • Summer Ice by Holly Phillips
  • Sustainable Development by Paula R. Stiles
  • The Church of Accelerated Redemption by Gareth L. Powell and Aliette de Bodard
  • The Solnet Ascendancy by Lavie Tidhar
  • At Budokan by Alastair Reynolds
  • Castoff World by Kay Kenyon
  • Paul Kishosha's Children by Ken Edgett

Anyone else read this?  If not, you should!  If so, what were your thoughts?

3 comments:

Abigail F. Taylor said...

I'll put it on my list! Is it YA/Teen? That seems to be the theme with that group lately, the distopia stuff I mean. I've found myself pulled into The Mortal Instruments. Does this book of short stories follow the same sort of style?

Kristin Laughtin said...

Hi Abigail! No, it's for adult readers. The styles are all different since there are so many authors, and I can't really say whether any follow Clare's style since I haven't read her books. A few are set in cities and have that urban feel, but there aren't really the same types of fantasy elements (vampires, fairies, etc.). It's all realistic science fiction. I think it's still worth checking out, though!

Sean Ammirati said...

Sounds like a good read! I'll check it out soon, I have a few vacancies on my book list anyway.