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Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories by John…

Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories

by John Joseph Adams (Editor)

Other authors: Ray Bradbury (Contributor), Orson Scott Card (Contributor), Ursula K. Le Guin (Contributor)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
A few decent stories, but overall disappointing. ... And I love - LOVE - dystopian stories/ novels. Get it from the library and flip through it. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Early on when I was reading this collection I found I had to put it down because of the sheer weight of all the visions of human misery. Dystopias can be depressing! Who could have guessed. After a while, though, the sheer variety of dystopic invention would continue to provide excuses to keep pressing on, as if I were a tourist among places which were each beset with their own private version of Hell, but able to move on in fifteen pages or so. Some of the characters are crushed by the oppression and some are able to defeat it, and some are completely unaware that they have any choice in the matter. All of them have something to say to the sensitive citizen in Western society.

John Joseph Adams is a stickler for the proper use of terminology, carefully separating true dystopia stories which all have more-or-less intact governing structures from post-apocalyptic tales such as the ones in his other collections which speak to a very different set of preoccupations for modern people. He calls this out in his Introduction here. Few post-apocalyptic tales show those in charge attempting to paint their societies as utopias, for instance, as the Adam-Troy Castro story in this volume does. The great majority of the stories collected here are reprints, but with the current trend toward dystopia in Young Adult fiction, I think a second volume could be put together without undue fuss.

Worth a five-star rating just by including Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and Carrie Vaughn's The Amaryllis. ( )
  rmagahiz | Dec 21, 2013 |
Autología de relatos distopianos francamente interesante, con algunos cuentos sobresalientes (tanto clásicos como modernos). ( )
  cuentosalgernon | Oct 10, 2013 |
Mind blowing. Bizarre. Disturbing. Dystopian. ( )
  publiusdb | Aug 22, 2013 |
While reading this book over the past week or so, I have been asked by several people whether this book is a sequel to the classic dystopia written by Aldous Huxley. Answer: no, it isn't. The title is of course a reference to that work, but the book is not explicitly about Huxley's (although one story, "Arties Aren't Stupid" did remind me of it). Brave New Worlds is an anthology of dystopian stories by both famous and mostly unknown authors.

Like any anthology, the quality varies. Some of the stories I couldn't put down, while others I had to force myself to finish. The good definitely outweighed the bad for me in this reading experience though and I found a bunch of new authors to watch for!

The dystopian societies are ranged around a number of themes:

-Getting to live an easy life in exchange for suffering (either of one or many)
-Babies not allowed
-Not enough babies
-Mining (yeah, I don't know either...These were not my favorite stories)
-Removing all the homosexuals
-Removing all the heterosexuals
-Growing old too slowly
-Growing old too quickly
-And more...

A quick word about a couple favorites and least favorites.

The Best: I absolutely adored the story "Just Do It" by Heather Lindsley. Unfortunately, Heather has not yet written a book, so I can't read any more of her stuff. In her dystopian world, advertising has gone crazy! Ad men actually create darts that are thrown at people on the street. If you get hit by a dart, you get a craving so strong for something (i.e. french fries or fish sandwiches) that you have to go get whatever it is immediately. Even worse, it might not stop there.

Also awesome was "Caught in the Organ Draft" by Robert Silverberg. Although his name didn't ring any bells with me, Silverberg has been writing sci fi since the fifties and has a ton of books. Written in 1972, this short story considers a world where war is waged by robots to spare lives...so that all the young people can be used as organ donors as part of a draft. They only take non-vital organs, like the 'spare' kidney or lung, so it's cool, right? And the important adults can now live for upwards of a hundred and fifty years! If you liked Neal Shusterman's Unwind, you definitely don't want to miss this story.

The Worst: I actually liked "Amaryllis" by Carrie Vaughn, but in the context of the anthology, it was awful. The problem: it's not a dystopia. At all. The main character is being treated poorly by an authority figure and the society certainly isn't ideal, but her problem is resolved when they go to a higher authority. The higher authority fixes everything and not in a brainwashing kind of way. The editor even mentions in the story's introduction that it's not a dystopia. So why is it here?

"Sacrament" by Matt Williamson has, in my mind, the problem of the former, as well as being a story I did not enjoy and which did not, to me, seem particularly well-crafted. The story is from the perspective of a torturer in a society where advertising is art. The torturer likes his job, not in a creepy way, so he says, but takes pride in it. His father was one of the great ad-men/artists. The story lacks a point that I could find, does not successfully entwine the father's story with the son's and the main character is not unhappy with the world around him.

So yeah, lots of great stories (way more than I mentioned above, like "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and "Minority Report" by Philip K. Dick). Plus, there is awesome cover art and a fabulous bibliography of dystopian literature at the back! This is a must for dystopia fans.
( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adams, John JosephEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Card, Orson ScottContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Le Guin, Ursula K.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Shirley Jackson, best known for penning this classic story, was the author of several novels, such as We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House, the latter of which has been adapted to film twice (both times as The Haunting).
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The book "Selections from Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories" is a subset of the book "Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories". Please do not combine these two volumes.
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When the government wields its power against its own people, every citizen becomes an enemy of the state. Will you fight the system, or be ground to dust beneath the boot of tyranny?

In his smash-hit anthologies Wastelands and The Living Dead, acclaimed editor John Joseph Adams showed you what happens when society is utterly wiped away. Now he brings you a glimpse into an equally terrifying future — what happens when civilization invades and dictates every aspect of your life?

From 1984 to The Handmaid’s Tale, from Children of Men to Bioshock, the dystopian imagination has been a vital and gripping cautionary force. Brave New Worlds collects twenty-eight of the best tales of dystopian menace by some of today’s most visionary writers.
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SHORT STORIES. You are being watched. Your every movement is being tracked, your every word recorded. Your spouse may be an informer, your children may be listening at your door, your best friend may be a member of the secret police. You are alone among thousands, among great crowds of the brainwashed, the well-behaved, the loyal. Productivity has never been higher, the media blares, and the army is ever triumphant. One wrong move, one slip-up, and you may find yourself disappeared -- swallowed up by a monstrous bureaucracy, vanished into a shadowy labyrinth of interrogation chambers, show trials, and secret prisons from which no one ever escapes. Welcome to the world of the dystopia, a world of government and society gone horribly, nightmarishly wrong.… (more)

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