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Seeds of Change Hardcover – August 21, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This thought-provoking anthology of nine original stories posits near-future paradigm shifts in everything from race relations (in Ted Kosmatka's vivid and moving N-Words, where cloned Neanderthals encounter violent hatred from Homo sapiens) to the morality of uploaded consciousness (in Blake Charlton's clumsy but charming Endosymbiont), with varying success. The hero of Jay Lake's The Future by Degrees invents an energy-saving thermal superconductor only to be pursued by corporations protecting their business, with predictable results. Pepper, the mercenary hero of Tobias S. Buckell's Crystal Rain, refuses to assassinate a dictator in the morally contrived Resistance. Considerably more powerful is Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu's Spider the Artist, which combines African folk tales and advanced robotics in a chilling story about a rising social conscience in the Nigerian oil fields. Despite weak spots, this anthology accurately reflects many of today's most pressing political and social issues, and will give readers plenty to think about and argue over. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 11 Up—For this collection, each author was asked to write a story about a paradigm shift, a turning point when the world changes. It is an intriguing concept, and issues such as global warming, recycling, technological advancement, and political revolution are given interesting treatments. Ted Kosmatka's "N-Words" tackles cloning, racism, and evolution. Blake Charlton's "Endosymbiont" will be enjoyed by fans of Mary Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Holt, 2008). Tobias S. Buckell's "Resistance" is an eerie take on voter apathy, while K. D. Wentworth's "Drinking Problem" is a hilarious look at recycling taken a step too far. All of the stories were written specifically for this book, and the selections give a good sampling of a wide range of science fiction voices. It also aptly illustrates the fact that this genre, while set in the future, can often be inspired by issues we face today. Each story is preceded by a biographical sketch of its author. An introduction by the editor unifies the concept of the anthology. While short-story collections can be hard sells, larger libraries with avid science fiction readers will want this title.—Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (August 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809573105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809573103
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,684,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Larry Ketchersid on August 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This collection edited by slush god John Joseph Adams contains stories of paradigm shifts in the future (this review is based on an Advanced Reader Copy; the anthology is scheduled for release late August 2008). From his introduction:

"I asked the contributors to this anthology to write about paradigm shifts - technological, scientific, political, or cultural--and how individuals and societies deal with such changes. The idea is to challenge our current paradigms and speculate on how they might evolve in the future, either for better or for worse."

Many of the stories, instead of being about future paradigm shifts, are projections of current issues or ailments (racism, global warming, corporate spies and piracy) into the future but also contain new shifts brought about by new technology and ethical issues about usage (how should we or even should we not) of these new technologies.

The anthology starts with a bang, with a story of future prejudice. Of the nine stories Endosymbiont by Blake Charlton, Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu and Drinking Problem by K.D. Wentworth were my personal favorites.

* N-Words by Ted Kosmatka; eloquently captures the passion and pain of past and current prejudice and echoes them onto a future where a certain type of clones have become the latest persecuted ethnics.
* The Future by Degrees by Jay Lake; a solution is developed for efficient energy usage (little waste heat, high efficiency) and everyone will kill to get it;
* Drinking Problem by K.D. Wentworth; DNA coded one-per-customer-per-lifetime beer bottles with AI chips and various conversational modes make this story more horror than scifi for a committed beer drinker like myself.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By brookereviews on August 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Seeds of Change is an anthology that contains nine short stories confronting issues that our society faces today such as: racism, global warming, peak oil, technological advancement, and political revolution. All with a Science Fiction twist. This is a book that activist will enjoy, and if as readers, we don't understand the problems our world faces, Seeds of Change can really open our eyes to them. I really enjoyed what John Joseph Adams has done here. As an author and editor he has put this information out there in an entertaining way, in an attempt at making people more aware.

The authors are knowledgeable about the issues, and have taken the time to write intelligent Scifi stories for readers to enjoy. Seeds of Change is a fantastic addition to anyone's book collection, and I highly recommend it to all readers to check it out. John has also put together a great website for Seeds of Change that contains three free stories (with excerpts of the rest), as well as interviews, author bios, and a book trailer featuring dramatized excerpts of each story and an original musical score. [...] Don't forget to go there and check that out :)
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Format: Hardcover
"How did my body die?" asks 14- year- old chemo patient Stephanie of Jani, a pediatric resident at a virtual San Francisco Children's Hospital. By now, the reader is fully aware that author Blake Charlton has taken us into the dystopian world of virtual medicine, where patients' minds can be reset at the sound of a word, technophobes worry about "posthumans" gaining too much power and abusing it and neuroprocessors take over the brain in a dead body, turning people into "endosymbionts", the equivalent of a bacteria that borrows life by feeding off its host organism. The precocious, knowledge-hungry Stephanie embarks on a cyber quest for truth that involves "unprogramming" a nurse, seeing a "cyber shrink" that breaks the rules of psychoanalysis by threatening to "delete" patients (what shrink doesn't wish they could sometimes?) and concocting a Borgesian, pre-existing plan for allowing neuroprocessors to endocytose morality. Little does Stephanie know yet what a key role in her own farfetched idea she'll play. In yet the last and most important symbiosis of the story, her plan will engulf her turning her into a martyr of the moral neurotech evolution that promises to make the world a better place. The symbol for this interdependency is perhaps best illustrated by the ubiquitous image of the snake eating its own tail that opens and closes the narrative and reinforced by the last name "Mandala", a Buddhist circular diagram, emblem of cosmic order and harmony. Charlton is skillful at making the perfect circularity of these recurrent motifs transcend the thematic aspect to contaminate, like the bacteria at the heart of the story, the textual structure: opening and closing with the same image the story itself becomes a perfect circle that envelops us.Read more ›
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