Tuesday, September 23, 2014

SciFi Awesomeness!

Hey guess what?  Two ramblings in a row!!!  How did you get so lucky you ask?  Mostly I have a ton of books to ramble about and I am low on ideas for other blog posts...so ramblings it is.  Today is a ramble about one of my favoritist short story collections.  My baby sis read it, called me and said get it, get it right now, and through the magic of ebooks The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows edited by Jonathan Strahan was purchased, read and loved.  Here are a couple of my favorites.
Ass-Hat Magic Spider by Scott Westerfeld - Besides being by one of my favorite authors, this story is also about the love of a hard copy book.  In the future colonists have a severely limited weight they are allowed to carry on the colony ship.  The main character goes through some extreme measures to make sure he can take at least one intact book with him.  This just goes to show you I am not the only one with a physical attachment to ones books.

Orange by Neil Gaiman - Another one of my favorite authors contributes this quirky, strange awesome story told entirely through answers.  This is the story that made my baby sis call me and I am glad she did.  The story...if you can call it that is some sort of transcript where all you get is the protagonists answers to unknown questions.  It is surprisingly readable and has a great sense of humor.  I love love love it.

Repair Kit by Stephen Baxter - This whole story is a bit of a deus ex machina in a tongue in cheek way.  The whole story hinges on a box that can repair things by pulling them from the past.  The best part is whenever the mechanic is asked to explain the way the box works, he is tells them that it is unexplainable alien technology.

Anda's Game by Cory Doctorow - Our plucky and pudgy heroine of this story shows us that anybody can choose to do the right thing.  Taking MMORPG's to a whole new level this story gives us a whole lot of social commentary (without to much preaching) in the package of an ordinary girl and her ordinary family. This story has heart and that makes this story awesome.

The Dust Assassin by Ian McDonald - The biggest appeal of this one is that it is set in India.  The author does a great job integrating the future with the culture, customs and religions of this fascinating country.  The combination of this perfect setting and a heart wrenching, yet brilliant story make this a unique and wonderful addition to this collection.

Infestation by Garth Nix - Vampires, aliens, supersoldiers, everything a fast paced story needs.  This story takes an old school baddie, vampires and turns them into supersoldiers from another planet.  In the future these supersoldiers have gotten to Earth and the government allows civilians the chance to take them out...or die trying.  A fun twist on the vampire hunter story.

Pinocchio by Walter Jon Williams - The last entry in this collection deals with a society where children are limited because of over crowding and the ability to switch bodies at will.  The story examines what happens when you are young and basically immortal.  It is also a social commentary on our celebrities, child stars, and the flash in the pan fame the Internet can bring.
This collection is varied and wonderful and re readable (which is a huge plus).  It is technically geared towards the YA crowd and I think it fits the bill perfectly.  Many of the stories are a great jumping off point for discussions of various issues that affect people now and potentially in the future.  I recommend this collection to just about everybody and give it 9 out of 10 real books!

What is your favorite short story genre?  Is social commentary in a story good or obnoxious?  What is your vision of the future? How does one write a story in only answers?

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