Archives for posts with tag: future

12.12.17.DYSTOPIA.FRONT.1_NEW

Welcome To Dystopia: 45 Visions Of What Lies Ahead edited by Gordon Van Gelder

April 11, 2018 |By EamonnMurphy at https://www.sfcrowsnest.info/welcome-to-dystopia-45-visions-of-what-lies-ahead-edited-by-gordon-van-gelder-book-review/

Gordon Van Gelder says in his preface to ‘Welcome To Dystopia’ that he wanted lots of short stories for this anthology rather than just a few long ones. He succeeded. There are forty-five tales packed in here and even the most meticulous reviewer isn’t going to cover all of them, though I have read them all. My favourites are listed below in no particular order.

Everyone knows immigrants are the source of all a country’s problems so in the future the crackdown on foreigners, except those needed as cheap labour, will be more severe. The book opens strongly with ‘Sneakers’ by Michael Libling. Two innocent Canadians go south to buy a pair of sneakers, which are cheaper in the United States. Regrettably, things have changed on the border and their situation becomes difficult, even scary. This has a great kick in the tail and may be a warning for those ex-colonials in the savage north. They should have stayed under the rule of good Queen Bess. We Brits would have taken care of them.

‘Glow’ by S.S. Breukelaar has real aliens from another planet who are under threat on election night from Bud Towers and the Humanity First Party. Some actually support him, assuming that Bud is only out to get lowlife aliens and not respectable folks like themselves. Bud’s opponent is an alien-loving woman, who will go to jail for financial misdemeanours if he wins. The theme of this anthology invites allegory.

In my extensive reading, I haven’t come across many female protagonists mad for sex (I don’t read those sort of books) but there’s one in ‘His Sweat Like Stars On The Rio Grande’ by Janis Jan. Working for Local Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the famous Wall, she meets a hot Mexican, fourth generation with a rare green card. She’s ruthless in pursuit of her libidinous longings but, despite her job, this is really about slavery. We do like our cheap food.

A scarier story of slavery is ‘The Adventure of You’ by Paul la Forge. It consists of a list of instructions to coal miner John Arnold Arnold (that is his name). They come from the Synod which forbids certain things, not least among them escaping to the surface which is a myth and doesn’t exist anyway. As dear old Harold Macmillan knew, the best way of keeping the oppressed down is to convince them they’re actually very lucky.

‘Newsletter’ by Jennifer Marie Brisset is in the form of a newsletter to a book group from the community bookstore. It warns them that the state now monitors which books they buy and that certain titles are no longer available. The prospect is chilling for readers but hopefully, things won’t get this bad.

‘Loser’ is by Matthew Hughes who writes many good stories for ‘The Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction’. Loser 114 is in a camp doing hard labour. He used to work for ‘National Commentator’ magazine and wrote an interesting piece on how people switched from ‘citizens in a society’ to ‘consumers in an economy’. He’s recruited to betray his old comrades who have fled to Canada with his wife and child held hostage to make sure he complies. This is a thoughtful and interesting narrative from an author more noted for his humour.

‘Dangerous’ by Lisa Mason is a hilarious story about compulsory vagina registration with the federal government. No mention of male reproductive organs which are presumably free to hang out wherever they like.

‘Statues Of Limitations’ by Jay Russell is a conversation between Sal and Bobby in New York. Incorrect statues are being replaced all over the city. Atlas is removed from Rockefeller Center for being ‘an insidious three-dimensional trope for two thousand years of hegemonic patriarchy’. This was hilarious, the best thing in the book and a warning to look left as well as right when guarding your freedom of speech.

One of the longest here is ‘Burning Down The House’ by Ted White. Nik’s block is burnt down by armed gangs so she goes to see Jonny, a pimp. She won’t work for him but they are sort of friends. He arranges for her to meet a One Percenter who’s doing an IQ experiment to prove that poor people aren’t stupid. A sad story of exploitation but Nik’s struggle makes an interesting yarn.

Ron Goulart enjoys himself with ‘The Amazing Transformation Of The White House Dog.’ Like FDR and Nixon, the President wants to have a dog but he’s allergic to them. Norbert’s Uncle Josh is an inventor and has made Fido #7, a clever talking robot canine. J. Edgar Nofzinger, head of the Alternative FBI comes to check it out. Fido is approved and will keep the president company in the wee small hours while he tweets. Great fun and a pleasant change from the myriad bleak visions, though I admit there’s a lot to be bleak about.

‘Designed For Your Safety’ by Elizabeth Bourne is told in the form of emails from Sophie Goldstein to Emily Wilson. Sophie has obtained a good job in a fantastic new office building that’s solar-powered with a huge roof garden which uses the workers own processed poo as manure. It’s practically self-sufficient which is just as well when the outside world falls apart and they are locked in by the building for their own safety. This is almost an updated ‘Lord Of The Flies’ with adults. The crisis worsens steadily in a clever plot and if it was stretched out a bit it might make a good film.

Overall, this is a worthy anthology. In fact, there wasn’t a duff story in the bunch but as many are very short the book as a whole is a bitty read. The brief to keep it brief led many writers to go the epistolary route, usually e-mails between parties but also a newsletter and even a story told in Facebook posts. The general tone was inevitably serious, that’s the nature of dystopian fiction, but the loaf is leavened by bits of humour.

Eamonn Murphy
April 2018
(pub: OR Books. 406 page ebook. £ 7.21 (UK), $10.11 (US). ASIN: B0797YR1KF)

check out website: www.orbooks.com

Advertisements

ALEXA.CVR.MED.LARGE.5.17.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Lisa Mason doesn’t disappoint us on that issue and gives us a look …
By R Bruce Miller on October 1, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
“Scifi is nominally about the future and the impact of technology on society. Lisa Mason doesn’t disappoint us on that issue and gives us a look at a desirable biotechnology with some serious long-term and unforeseen consequences. However, like all the truly great scifi writers, what she really writes about is you and me and today and what is really important in life. Alexa lives an improbable life and yet, somehow, is a very real everywoman. Solzhenitsyn would have appreciated the homage. Cats! Grow your own organic food! Yes, there is much fun to be had on this journey, but the message nonetheless is solid and important. I enjoyed every word even though this book spoiled my day because I had no choice but to read it in one sitting while drinking too much coffee.”

Alexa Denisovitch, a refugee from Kosovo during the 1999 war, is just seventeen when she is accepted by GenGineer Laboratories as a Tester for Longeva, a revolutionary additive that may significantly extend her longevity.

But becoming a Tester has unintended consequences and Longeva causes devastating unforeseen side effects.

Confronting environmental, political, and personal perils of the future, Alexa must grapple with the tough questions of life, love, and death.

From Goodreads:
“Incorporates lively prose, past/present time jumps, and the consequences of longevity technology … In reflection, the book is as much about the enduring trauma of war as it is about longevity technology, and in this it feels more like mainstream than science fiction. [An] absorbing read with an appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms.”

A contender for the 2017 Philip K. Dick Award

Nine ways to acquire your copy of One Day in the Life of Alexa by Lisa Mason

1–Order in PRINT TODAY at https://www.createspace.com/7181096
2–Ask your local bookstore to order the book. Here is the ISBN: 978-1546783091. Booksellers, Bookstores, Librarians, Libraries, Distributor, become a Certified Reseller and acquire the book at a discount. For guidelines, go here: https://lisamasontheauthor.com/2017/09/09/booksellers-bookstores-librarians-libraries-distributors-become-a-certified-reseller-receive-your-wholesale-discount-and-stock-lisa-masons-new-print-books-sfwapro-2/

3—Order In Print on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091/

4–One Day in the Life of Alexa is also offered worldwide as an ebook on Amazon.com  at US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle.

5—Now on Barnes and Noble as a Nook ebook at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa-lisa-mason/1126431598?ean=2940158820496

6–On Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/745308

7–On Apple https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa/id1278010570?mt=11

8—On Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/one-day-in-the-life-of-alexa

9–Or Order an Autographed Copy Directly from Bast Books at http://www.lisamason.com/alexa.html

Lisa Mason has published ten novels including Summer of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book), The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book), Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (a collection of previously published short fiction), and two dozen stories and novellas in magazines and anthologies worldwide. Her Omni story, “Tomorrow’s Child,” sold outright as a feature film to Universal Studios.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.createspace.com/7257603 or on Amazon Print at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at at https://www.createspace.com/7511748  or on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. In the SFWA Fantasy Storybundle AND in print this week!

Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle.

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!