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Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales…

Darwin's Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow

by Zsuzsi Gartner (Editor)

Other authors: Jay Brown (Contributor), Paul Carlucci (Contributor), Douglas Coupland (Contributor), Buffy Cram (Contributor), Elyse Friedman (Contributor)18 more, William Gibson (Contributor), Jessica Grant (Contributor), Lee Henderson (Contributor), Sheila Heti (Contributor), Anosh Irani (Contributor), Mark Anthony Jarman (Contributor), Oliver Kellhammer (Contributor), Annabel Lyon (Contributor), Pasha Malla (Contributor), Stephen Marche (Contributor), Yann Martel (Contributor), Heather O'Neill (Contributor), Adam Lewis Schroeder (Contributor), Neil Smith (Contributor), Timothy Taylor (Contributor), Matthew J. Trafford (Contributor), Laura Trunkey (Contributor), David Whitton (Contributor)

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752251,308 (3.44)3
These 23 stories take us on a twisted fun ride into some future times and parallel universes where characters as diverse as a one-legged International Actuarial Forensics specialist, a pharmaceutical guinea pig, and a far-sighted fetus engage in their own games of the survival of the fittest.



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Describing this anthology in the introduction, the editor writes, "I asked Canadian short-fiction writers not normally known for an exploration of future times for their social satire, fabulist tales, and irreverent dystopian visions of the day after tomorrow." Which sounds wonderful, and which isn't in fact a bad description of the contents. And yet somehow I found the whole thing vaguely disappointing. The stories are all well written, and some of them I liked well enough, but the anthology as a whole just didn't really work for me the way I was hoping for. It's hard to put my finger on exactly why, but, taken in aggregate, the whole thing feels almost like it's trying a little too hard to be hip and sardonic and irreverent, and a lot of the social commentary seems to consist of the obvious wrapped up in the obscure, if that makes any sense. It's not a bad collection, by any means; I just think this is a case of a significant mismatch between the anthologist's and reader's tastes. ( )
  bragan | Jan 8, 2011 |
The stories in this anthology are solid, but not very remarkable. I found that the characters in the book, generally, are too introspective for me to really get into them.

This is Not the End My Friend - Adam Lewis Schroeder - A story about kids growing up in a celebrity-less world. Has an interesting premise, but didn't captivate.

The Aurochs - Lee Hendersen - Future world, over population, medical care outlawed, and sad old man with an obsession. Again, didn't captivate.

Survivor - Douglas Coupland - Survivor turns into real Survivor. I liked this one. But the protagonist wasn't very likable.

The Personasts - Stephanie Marche - The ability to become someone heals the soul. Its interesting, but the why of the story was missed.

We Ate the Children Last - Yann Martel - A medical procedure creates an appetite. Its one of the better written stories in this anthology, and its really is horrific...

Sunshine City - Timothy Taylor - Its an okay mystery that was a few pages too long. The story itself was a bit dry.

The December Astronauts - Mark Anthony Jarman - didn't read. Started off too with too much angst.

Love in the Pneumatic Tube Era - I like this story - Two people, lost in a world find each other again. Very cute.

I Found Your Vox - Elyse Friedman. I liked this story too - a guy connects with a girl through her Vox (MP3 Player).

Remote Control - Annabel Lyon - Didn't really get this one. Alien watches two people come together and split up.

Notes From the Womb - Anosh Irani - I really did not like this. Two murderous fetuses talking to each other? There is no reason given for this story. I kept reading it hoping to find out why these fetuses were the way they were. Never was explained.

Dougal Discarnate - William Gibson - I'm not sure what to make of this story- on one hand, it has very likable characters, but on the other, it seems to elude me. I feel like I'm missing something.

Large Garbage - Buffy Cram - the highly educated, but homeless come to a small town in droves, driving one person to discover what he has been missing. I liked it.

This Morning, All Night - Paul Carlucci - The last of the stars is harvested. So sad. No more light.

There is No Time in Waterloo - Sheila Heti - Kids with a blackberry like device that can tell the future by analyzing the past. This story could have been much more. But, I liked it.

The Dreamlife of Toasters - Heather O'Neill - I really liked this story - but its sad. The meaning of life repeated in Androids.

Crush - Oliver Kellhammer - an interesting story of over fishing, aliens. But too angsty.

Fire From Heaven - Laura Trunkey - A story about Aura's, Hate, and human spontaneous combustion. Its another sad story, and it rings of truth, like all good stories should.

Twilight of the Gods - David Whitton - Its a well written story, but hard to review. I liked it.

1999 - Pasha Malla - Prince is the last man alive, and women are flocking to him, but is he worth the trouble? One of the best stories in this collection.

Atheists Were Almost Right About Everything - Neil Smith - Heaven exists, but its just like earth.

Gladiator- Jay Brown - love in a medical testing facility. With a bit more work, it would have been a very good story.

The Divinity Gene - Mathew J. Trafford - Jesus is cloned, but isn't quite what the world expected. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Aug 15, 2010 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gartner, ZsuzsiEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brown, JayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carlucci, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coupland, DouglasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cram, BuffyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Friedman, ElyseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibson, WilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grant, JessicaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henderson, LeeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heti, SheilaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Irani, AnoshContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jarman, Mark AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kellhammer, OliverContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lyon, AnnabelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Malla, PashaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marche, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martel, YannContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O'Neill, HeatherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schroeder, Adam LewisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, TimothyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Trafford, Matthew J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Trunkey, LauraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitton, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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