Selections from Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories – John Joseph Adams

Selections from Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories

Selections from Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories



A collection of dystopian stories.


Other reviews indicate their version had only a few stories. Mine had eight, so perhaps a different version of the limited edition. The stories were:

Amaryllis by Carrie Vaughn

The Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away by Cory Doctorow

Is This Your Day to Join the Revolution? by Genevieve Valentine

Just Do It by Heather Lindsley

Arties Aren’t Stupid by Jeremiah Tolbert

Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs by Adam-Troy Castro

Resistance by Tobias S. Buckell

Civilization by Vylar Kaftan

One benefit of anthologies is to introduce readers to new authors. Some of the above were unknown to me, but I’m afraid none of the stories converted me. I did like Tobias Buckell’s story – the best of the group. The rest were competently written, but I didn’t find them particularly compelling. One, “Of a Slow Sweet Dance…” seemed to me so clearly a re-casting of Ursula Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, that I’m surprised that both stories are included in the full version of the book.

Although this was only a sampler, and the stories are different in many ways, I found the styles and themes similar enough that a steady diet of serious dystopia grew wearing. This especially since Vylar Kaftan’s story is essentially an outline for dystopian plots – choose one element from column A…

It may be that the full book is more balanced, but I ended up glad I didn’t have more to read – surely the opposite of what this taster was intended for.

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