Genre: Cyberpunk/Science Fiction/Short Story Anthology
“It is the dawn of the 22nd century, and in the sprawling development known as ‘UbiquiCity,’ the most wealthy and powerful districts possess all the latest in smart technology, with every building, device and control system connected via the Internet Of Things.
The world is augmented and identity is fluid. Satellite-guided cars drive themselves. Busy drones fill the skies. Cloud-assisted bots perform once-human jobs. Appliances, vehicles, buildings, media devices, products, streetlights, roadsigns and even toilets communicate electronically, all under the watchful eye of the AI CitySystem. For the inhabitants of the UbiComp zones, life is sweet.
But not everyone in the city is so blessed.
Short stories by Niko Carcosa, Antony Copeland, Tod Davies, Tod Foley, DeAnna Knippling, SL Koch, Shariann Lewitt, Adrian McCauley, and T Reynolds paint a picture of a realistic future city where ubiquitous computing is the source of much innovation, renovation and social disruption.”
A variety of authors.
This book starts out with a map of Union City. All of the ten stories in this anthology take place in this shared story world. The map and the stories also share some terminology to describe things in the shared story world, for example sprawl zones and squatter towns are what might be thought of as the slums (to use terminology from our times) of Union Town. This also takes places in the future where artificial intelligence is widespread and those that populate the planet where Union City is located are as likely to be a robotic creature as anything else. (Be aware that there is a glossary at the end. If you find yourself wondering about the meaning of some terminology then scanning the glossary before continuing might be a good idea.)
Cyberpunk, the genre label used to describe these stories, happens in a dystopian future and, like the dystopian genre, these stories make you think about the potential downsides of some directions the world is headed. I found it interesting, yet logical in many ways, that those who lived in the slums of Union City often seemed like the happier characters. As with any collection of stories from multiple authors, some of the stories grabbed me more than others, but overall I found them to be good reads that succeeded in getting me to wonder about what the distant future will bring.
Some adult language.
A small number of proofreading misses.
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 105-110,000 words