When it malfunctions, a teacher discovers a microchip implanted within her forehead which was designed to eradicate her free will. She determines to rescue the orphaned children in her care from a similar fate.
In the aftermath of a conflict in which all adults were killed or driven away by their progeny, children and teens roam the streets of a ruined city. When they near the age of 21 they must play the ultimate game, snuff sport, to prevent themselves from becoming hated adults. A lone grown-up who re-enters the city on a mission of reconciliation is captured and put on trial for his life.
The people of Earth are losing a war with aliens that they themselves provoked. Every able-bodied person is being called up to fight, even prisoners. A battle-hardened general enters a prison to recruit a woman who refuses to fight, but who may have a most unusual special ability that can turn the tide of the war.
These and other tales offer terrifying glimpses of Earth's future gone wrong.
From the author's afterword: "When I postulate dark futures it is not to get you to despair. When I hold up dark mirrors before your eyes it is not so that you will see the worst in yourself and do yourself in. Far from it. Some of our greatest illuminations come from deep dark prose. Dark literature is not meant to overwhelm us. It is meant to purge us, to provide catharsis. It is a cleansing and purifying process. We must be aware of the evil within before we can clean it out."