epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,
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Book Review: Brave New Worlds

Brave New Worlds edited by John Joseph Adams

A collection of dystopian stories from those who gave us ‘Wastelands’, ‘The Living Dead 2’, ‘By Blood We Live’, ‘The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘The Book of Cthulhu’.

The Lottery
Shirley Jackson’s famous story. A small town holds a lottery that nobody wants to win. A classic.

Red Card
A woman uses the title card to kill her husband. This meanders and isn’t good.

Ten With A Flag
A government knows everything and controls everything. A couple learn some information about their unborn child and have to make a decision. This is creepy especially the narrator’s passive acceptance of it all.

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas
A bright shining city has a secret, which everyone knows. There is a price to be paid for Omelas being a delight to live in. Some cannot pay it. This is okay.

Evidence Of Love In A Case Of Abandonment
A great change has come to America. There are strict rules of acceptable behaviour for women and public execution for those who deviated in the past. One girl rages about her missing mother who committed such a deviation. This was good.

The Funeral
An odd story about a regimented society. I’m not entirely sure what it is about.

O Happy Day!
A new society rids itself of violence. Those who work in the camps killing the violent try to cope with what they do. Unnerving.

Pervert
A man has desires that have been bred out of his society. A bit odd.

From Homogenous To Honey
A short comic strip by Neil Gaiman about a world where all unacceptable influences have been purged by any means necessary. Very good.

Billennium
A man tries to exist in an over-populated world where a person has just three meters to call their own. Ok.

Amaryllis
In order for the world to survive, society had to become a dystopia. The narrator lives happily enough in this changed world. Good.

Pop Squad
Rejoo has changed the world. People lives forever so there is no need of children. If anyone comes off rejoo to have a child, that child will be killed. This is a disturbing story about the price of the fountain of youth.

Auspicious Eggs
It’s a world overflowing with babies. Everyone must procreate and infertility means death. This is good.

Peter Skilling
Peter dies in 2005 and is brought back in 2103. He soon learns the US is now a theocratic state and as he is pot smoking, liberal greenie, he is pretty much screwed. This was good if one overlooks the blatant liberal hippy angle.

The Pavement
Ray Bradbury’s tale of how walking is illegal. This is okay.

The Things That Make Me Weak And Strange Get Engineered Away
A man leaves his enclosed order looking for answers to an anomaly. Good.

The Pearl Diver
Farasha is an office drone and then everything changes after she reads a spam email. This is good but bizarre.

Dead Space For The Unexpected
A middle management guy directs office life with depressing glee. Ok.

Repent, Harlequin!” Said The Ticktockman
A society that lives by the clock is disrupted. This is good.

Is This Your Day To Join The Revolution?
Society is structured around avoiding the Disease. But is the Disease real? Do you even want to know? This was very good.

Independence Day
An unhappy teenage girl lives in a world of war where everyone is fat, stupid, illiterate, sick and a junkie. She denounces her father and too late tries to atone for what she has done. This is very good.

The Lunatics
Miners look for a better life. Okay.

Sacrament
Our narrator is a Deep Interrogator. He explains the why and how of his job. This is very good.

The Minority Report
The head of precrime learns that he himself will murder a man he has never met. This okay and the film bears no resemblance to the story.

Just Do It
Advertising has reached a whole new level, especially when they can make you crave: “French fries from the den of the evil clown, where they don’t even pretend to use potatoes anymore.” A group tries to fight the new ads. This was good.

Harrison Bergeron
Everyone must be equal in every way. Or else. This was good.

Caught In The Organ Draft
A new form of generation gap. The old will forever by stealing the organs of the young. Good.

Geriatric Ward
The human race of dying of accelerated aging. Not good at all.

Arties Aren’t Stupid
Written in annoying slang, this is a tale of artists in a depressing future. It is mediocre.

Jordan’s Waterhammer
Men bred only to mine pass down knowledge from a secret book. Okay.

Of A Sweet Slow Dance In The Wake Of Temporary Dogs
Imagine a city where you have nine days of joy and then one day of hell. Is it worth it? Good.

Resistance
A space station has been seized by a tyrant. Okay.

Civilization
A choose your own adventure tale about a society’s path. This is very good.
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