|Look at this gorgeous cover! |
How could you not want to read this?
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?