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Brave New Worlds Paperback

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 489 pages
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books; 1St Edition edition (January 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597802212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597802215
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Familiar classics by such luminaries as Shirley Jackson, Ursula K. Le Guin, and J.G. Ballard rub shoulders with new standouts in this dark anthology of 33 dystopian futures and alternate worlds. In Joseph Paul Haines's "Ten with a Flag," a government uses confusion to manipulate the governed. Sarah Langan's "Independence Day" shows a tyrannical future U.S. through a teenager's eyes. Matt Williamson's "Sacrament" offers the torturer's perspective on his "art." Adam-Troy Castro's "Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs" asks how much of our souls we would surrender for nine days of guaranteed happiness plus one of horror. Grinding inevitability runs through Vylar Kaftan's interactive "Civilization." Most of the stories are bleak, many are hopeless, and all serve as powerful warnings of what we may let ourselves become. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

John Joseph Adams is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as Wastelands, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), The Living Dead 2, By Blood We Live, Federations, The Way of the Wizard, and The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Barnes & named him the reigning king of the anthology world, and his books have been named to numerous best of the year lists. He is also the editor of the online magazines Lightspeed and Fantasy, and is the co-host of io9 s The Geek s Guide to the Galaxy podcast.

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Customer Reviews

Overall I highly recommend this collection for any fans of dystopian or speculative fiction.
It's an incredibly frightening future, and one that feels far more relevant to today's world than most works.
Andrew Liptak
Although there are a couple of "crappy" stories, overall the stories are wonderful and very well done!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By pixieverde on November 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall, this is a very good anthology, and a recommended dystopia sampler for any bookshelf. Some of the stories greatly outshine the others in quality and haunting resonance, and of course some of them do not suit my personal taste (but may yours). All of that is to be expected in any anthology of this size, with such a generationally diverse cast of writers. At more than halfway through, the high points have far outweighed the low.

"O Happy Day!" by Geoff Ryman is perhaps too vile of a cautionary tale for me, while "Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow, "Ten with a Flag" by Joseph Paul Haines, "The Funeral" by Kate Wilhelm, and "Amaryllis" by Carrie Vaughn are all wonderful stories by writers that I have never read before. To that point, the recommended further reading lists at the end are an excellent final touch.

I now wish that I had a copy for my bookshelf, because the Kindle edition has a two big problems.:

1. It was not made clear on the Amazon page for the Kindle edition that four stories (by J.G. Ballard, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and Kurt Vonnegut) were omitted from the digital version. The author or publisher inserted a clever dig at the rights holders of these stories on the digital copyright page, which I chuckled at and do appreciate, but had I known these stories were omitted, I would have purchased a paperback copy instead.

2. There is no table of contents, which means that you cannot easily skip stories or read them out of order. A table of contents with links to the starting page of each story is a very important element in electronic versions of long anthologies like this! Want to re-read that one story that really surprised you? You'd better remember the title or the name of the author so you can run a search for it.

4 stars for the collection/3 for the kindle edition.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Stefan VINE VOICE on February 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Even people who don't usually read science fiction will often be familiar with a few classic titles in the "dystopian SF" sub-genre. After all, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World are some of the few SF titles that have entered the mainstream literary canon to such an extent that they've become assigned school reading for many students. However, novel-length dystopian SF didn't stop with those venerable classics, and can even be said to be thriving at the moment. See, for example, the recent success of Paolo Bacigalupi's debut The Windup Girl -- admittedly one of the finest SF novels of the last few years, but undoubtedly even more successful because its vision of an environmentally ruined future taps into many people's concerns over one of the biggest challenges of our time. In fantasy, there seems to be a similar revival of darker and grittier books that mirrors this renewed popularity of gloomy genre fiction. There are even dystopian YA novels out there.

Less well known but equally deserving of our attention are the many excellent short stories written in the sub-genre. To rectify this situation, we now have Brave New Worlds, a brand new anthology of dystopian SF short stories edited by John Joseph Adams. And, while "definitive" is not a word to be thrown around lightly, in this case it's more than appropriate: Brave New Worlds is as perfect an anthology as you could hope for, and if there's ever a college-level class about dystopian SF, this book is almost guaranteed to be assigned reading.

One of the great things about a broad anthology like this one, collecting 33 different stories that still all fall under the umbrella of dystopian SF, is that you get the chance to sample a large variety of styles and approaches.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Mad Hatter VINE VOICE on March 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
John Joseph Adams has singled-handedly been responsible for making me read more short fiction in the last 3 years than nearly the 10 years before that. Each collection starting with his first reprint anthology Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse up to his latest Brave New Worlds have done a great service to each of the themes visited providing a well rounded smorgasbord of ideas and entertainment.

Brave New Worlds is Adams' best entry into the reprint anthology fold thus far bringing to light many impossibly classic stories as well as some recent gems that will mostly stand the test of time as well. Each and every story grows from the kernel of an idea that society or politics has become gone awry in some way either in its laws or rituals. Adams provides his incisive commentary to introduce each piece as usual, which does tend to drift into some good social commentary as well given the topic at hand. Some stories are about people raging against the machine while others are about those who just fall in line simply because they are instilled with fear of what would happen otherwise.

While at first look Brave New Worlds simply looks like a collection put together for their name value--as it is a who's who of classic and modern authors--I quickly realized that each and every story was picked with care and some even defy normal convention as we are treated to a short graphic story by none other than Neil Gaiman that in no way feels shoehorned in and Ursula K. Leguin's piece "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" from the 70s that feels absolutely timeless, but has no main characters as it sweeps through a town.
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