Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Short Story Anthology/Dystopian
Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words
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Eleven authors from the US and the UK.
A collection of 15 short stories. All of them are set in dystopian environments where “Humans have lost facets of their freedoms.”
This anthology was assembled by Dagda Publishing, a relatively new small UK press. The number of typos and other errors I would have expected to be caught in the copy editing and proofing process exceeded the number I like to see, which is reflected in the rating. However, most of these errors are relatively minor. A forgiving reader who is a dystopian fan should still give the collection consideration.
As for the stories, some were better than others, but none were bad. I’ll highlight a few that stood out for me.
In a dystopian story the reader often has to figure out the world where it is taking place. What has changed from the world we know? Normally this change will be a social or political change the author observes taking place in today’s world and imagines continuing in the direction that change is taking us, usually to a point we’d perceive as extreme, with negative results. In his story Eating, Drinking, Walking, author Dylan Otto Krider concentrated on a political direction that was unique and not as obviously bad for those who benefit from it. I found that figuring out this world came slower than with the other stories, but the story was that much stronger because of it.
The Explosive Class Struggle of Terra Vista contributed by Jamie Burnette and Welcome to Omni-Mart by Dale Bridges were two others I especially enjoyed. The first, an exploration of when the rift between the haves and have-nots becomes too extreme, the second, taking what I’ll describe as the corporate-ization of government to the extreme.
Much easier for me to figure out what was going on was another story from Dylan Otto Krider, The Price of My Services, yet just as strong as his contribution mentioned earlier. This story explores the changing world of media and journalism and how what we are told is manipulated.
Some adult language.
Some stories use UK spelling conventions.
Too many copy editing and proofing misses. Most of these are minor (wrong words due to typo, extra or missing words, etc).
Rating: *** Three stars