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Showing posts tagged: dystopian click to see more stuff tagged with dystopian
Fri
Jan 10 2014 12:00pm

After Ellen Datlow Terri WindlingI wish to open this review of the most recent YA anthology from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (lately out in paperback) by quoting from the introduction, as it sums up this book just as well as I could, and far more succinctly.

“We’ve chosen to take a broader road in the creation of this anthology, including both dystopian and post-disaster tales (as well as stories that fall on the spectrum between) in order to reflect the wide range of dyslit beloved by teen readers today...

“Our anthology sprang from a simple idea: to see out writers who share our love for dystopian and post-apocalyptic tales, and to ask them to please write stories for us about what happens after.”

[Read More]

Wed
Jun 5 2013 5:00pm

The Registry Shannon StokerWhen I worked the reference desk at a public library, I had my finger on the pulse of the publishing industry. I knew every upcoming release and what literary trends were coming and going. Now I’m an archivist and research librarian and the only profession-related things I read reviews on are archival storage containers (acrylic document storage case versus polypropylene document case... what’s a girl to choose?) So it’s understandable that I missed this hot new trend of “New Adult” that’s supposedly sweeping the book-reading nation.

According to Wikipedia, “New Adult (NA) fiction is a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18-25 age bracket. The term was first coined by St. Martin’s Press in 2009 when they held a special call for “...fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult - a sort of an ‘older YA’ or ‘new adult’.” New Adult fiction tends to focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices.” Another article lumped in basically all forms of media that involve a woman 14-27 into the category of New Adult, everything from Pride and Prejudice to Girls to Twilight (aka the bane of my existence). At first I was all ummm, and then I was like dude, and then I was all nuh uh, man. I mean come on. Is this what we’re doing now, creating completely meaningless subgenres within other subgenres for marketing purposes and then retconning them into validity? Is New Adult even remotely necessary? If The Registry is any indication, then no.

[“Anyone, any nation, who disagrees with our philosophy of prosperity and security is an imminent threat.”]

Tue
Apr 12 2011 4:29pm

Okay, to be honest, most of these games are dystopian visions of the future. They are either based on, or borrow heavily from, books, movies, and even television shows with which we are very familiar. Some are deadly serious, others are over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek parodies of society gone haywire. This list is not in any particular order but there is a glaring omission. Watch Tor.com later in the week for an overview of the mother of all dystopian game settings....

Battlestar Galactica the Board Game

The survival of humanity hangs by a thread. Fewer than 50,000 survivors flee extinction from Cylon xenocide on a rag-tag fleet of ships protected only by the aging Battlestar Galactica and her crew. Fuel and food are running short, morale is low, the population is dwindling, and to make matters worse, there are Cylons among us spreading mistrust, intrigue, and ultimately betrayal.

[Neurotic detectives, psychotic drivers, pandering executioners and more…]

Fri
Apr 17 2009 9:30am
Original Story

The first few days were just weird and annoying. You’d come out in the morning and find one of the damn things had chewed most of the way through your car’s antenna. A week later, people were crashing because the bugs had eaten through brake lines or the cars wouldn’t start at all ’cause the bugs had gone for all the copper wire. And remember, they just bud off another bug when they’ve eaten enough so their numbers increased geometrically. By the end of the first month they’d done for the entire car, finishing off the engine block and every last steel wire in the radial tires. By the end of the first week people were driving out of the southwest. By the end of the first month they were walking.

We didn’t realize they’d go for your fillings and crowns until they’d done for most of the infrastructure in Arizona and New Mexico. What? Yeah, that’s what caused the scarring. There was extensive reconstructive surgery too, or it would be worse. Would I go back? Huh. I’d have to have some of my dental work replaced but it’s not like I have a pacemaker or an artificial joint. But no. I don’t think so. It may be more crowded outside the territory, but who wants to live without metal?

Excerpt: When the Metal Eaters Came: First-Person Accounts

This story is also available for download from major ebook retailers.

* * *

The second day after leaving the Rio Grande, on the downslope east of the Manzanos, Kimball pulled over the lip of a hill and found an argument in progress.

Mrs. Pedecaris, the mule drawing his cart, had apparently heard them first for her ears twitched forward well before the top of the hill. Kimball was not surprised. The trail they were following had become more of a road, well-defined wheel ruts with fresh tracks, and fresh horse manure just beginning to dry.

Kimball had looped the reins over the brake lever while he was weaving the last bit of a wide-brimmed green cattail hat—and Mrs. Pedecaris slowed as she approached the cluster of vehicles just over the hill.

There were five carts similar to Kimball’s, high-wheeled boxes with composite wheels and axles. Three were horse-drawn, one mule-drawn, and one cart had lowered shafts and a cross bar to be pulled by hand, like a Mormon cart. Then three freight wagons with six-horse teams stood in a row, and there were a couple of saddle horses in front of them.

Kimball took Mrs. Pedecaris off the edge of the road to where a tough patch of dry buffalo grass was doing all right in the shade of some low mesquite bushes. He pulled off her bridle so she could crop the grass and said, “Pull up a chair, Mrs. P.” The mule snorted and dipped her head into the grass.

The road dipped sharply, into a cut leading down into a broad arroyo running down from the mountains. That’s where the cluster of people stood, crouched, or sat.

“—dehydration is really the issue.”

“Maybe we could throw a canteen?”

“Dammit, how many times do we gotta argue this? You crush a bug they’ll swarm her for sure. Us too.”

Wed
Aug 6 2008 4:05pm
Original Story

’Cause it’s gonna be the future soon,
And I won’t always be this way,
When the things that make me weak and strange get engineered away

—Jonathan Coulton, “The Future Soon”

Lawrence’s cubicle was just the right place to chew on a thorny logfile problem: decorated with the votive fetishes of his monastic order, a thousand calming, clarifying mandalas and saints devoted to helping him think clearly.

From the nearby cubicles, Lawrence heard the ritualized muttering of a thousand brothers and sisters in the Order of Reflective Analytics, a susurration of harmonized, concentrated thought. On his display, he watched an instrument widget track the decibel level over time, the graph overlaid on a 3D curve of normal activity over time and space. He noted that the level was a little high, the room a little more anxious than usual.

He clicked and tapped and thought some more, massaging the logfile to see if he could make it snap into focus and make sense, but it stubbornly refused to be sensible. The data tracked the custody chain of the bitstream the Order munged for the Securitat, and somewhere in there, a file had grown by 68 bytes, blowing its checksum and becoming An Anomaly.