What does the future hold for us? This anthology of nineteen diverse stories from authors around the world shows us a future full of adventure, intrigue, fun, heart-ache, and wonder.
A imprisoned space pirate from Phobos is given a last chance for freedom, but only if he’s willing to kill his younger brother. Again.
In post-climate change Italy, a deaf African-American woman and her native partner struggle to build a communal farm that can survive the new environment, a lasting hope for a future.
A Latina party girl is addicted to cybernetic body modification when the latest experimental ‘fix’ comes out, promising to let her deepest desires rise.
An Asian woman is called to Nigeria to find out why her company’s cyborg policeman just killed an unarmed teenage boy.
A mech-suited mercenary on a war torn alien planet is just trying to earn enough to get out, but her daughter is on the battlefield the day all hell breaks loose.
And many more. The future is as infinite as the stars. Let’s go explore it!
Nineteen stories by early-career authors, published by a tiny press, may appear a risky proposition for the reading dollar, but this anthology is solid throughout, suitable for teens and adults, and inclusive: the authors, characters, and settings cover a broad range of human possibility. Most stories are set on near-future Earths and feature human protagonists, along with a handful of aliens and AIs. The Mata Hari, the genderfluid protagonist of Marina Berlin's "Life and Death in the Frozen City," is an especially intriguing examination of how "human" and "alien," like gender labels, are not necessarily a binary. Several stories focus on the blurring between the organic and the technological: "Hu.man and Best" by Nancy S.M. Waldman imagines a divided world in which AIs study ways to make humans more like them, and Anne E. Johnson's "Dreamwire" describes cyborg enhancements as addictive "fixes." Climate change provides another angle for viewing this overlap. In "Debugging Bebe" by Mary Mascari, space-dwelling humans who no longer have access to plant life must content themselves with cyberflora, which are susceptible to literal bugs. Every story showcases fundamental storytelling craft and a strong emotional hook. This collection is accessible to SF newcomers as well as experienced fans.