Imagine the moment when the present ends, and the future begins-when the world we knew is no more and a brave new world is thrust upon us. Gathering stories by nine of today's most incisive minds, Seeds of Change confronts the pivotal issues facing our society today: racism, global warming, peak oil, technological advancement, and political revolution. Many serve as a call to action. How will you change with the future?
These nine stories sow seeds of change across familiar and foreign territory, from our own backyards to the Niger Delta to worlds not yet discovered. Pepper, the mysterious mercenary from Tobias S. Buckell's Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin, works as an agent for change--if the price is right--in "Resistance." Ken MacLeod envisions the end-game in the Middle East in "A Dance Called Armageddon." New writer Blake Charlton imagines a revolutionary advance in cancer research in "Endosymbiont." Award-winning author Jay Lake tackles technological change and the forces that will stop at nothing to prevent it in "The Future by Degrees." Other stories by K.D. Wentworth, Jeremiah Tolbert, Mark Budz, Ted Kosmatka, and Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu range from the darkly satirical to the exotic. All explore the notion that change will come.
This thought-provoking anthology of nine original stories posits near-future paradigm shifts in everything from race relations (in Ted Kosmatka's vivid and moving N-Words, where cloned Neanderthals encounter violent hatred from Homo sapiens) to the morality of uploaded consciousness (in Blake Charlton's clumsy but charming Endosymbiont), with varying success. The hero of Jay Lake's The Future by Degrees invents an energy-saving thermal superconductor only to be pursued by corporations protecting their business, with predictable results. Pepper, the mercenary hero of Tobias S. Buckell's Crystal Rain, refuses to assassinate a dictator in the morally contrived Resistance. Considerably more powerful is Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu's Spider the Artist, which combines African folk tales and advanced robotics in a chilling story about a rising social conscience in the Nigerian oil fields. Despite weak spots, this anthology accurately reflects many of today's most pressing political and social issues, and will give readers plenty to think about and argue over. (Aug.)
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Wild Side Press
August 28, 2008
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