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The Immortality Chronicles (The Future Chronicles) Paperback – August 29, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"The best place to discover new SF authors, I think, is any of the anthologies coming from Samuel Peralta"
-- Hugh Howey, NY Times bestselling author of Wool
"A powerful new voice in speculative fiction"
-- Nick Webb, USA Today bestselling author of the Legacy Fleet trilogy
About the Author
Created by Samuel Peralta - series editor and a Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy notable author in his own right - The Future Chronicles is the #1 bestselling anthology series that brings together work from visionary new voices and from the grandmasters of modern speculative fiction.
Its unique take on major science fiction and fantasy themes - A.I., time travel, dragons, robots, aliens, zombies, immortality, galactic battles, cyborgs, doomsday - has made it one of the most acclaimed anthology series of the digital era.
Top customer reviews
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Having refreshed my memory mere hours ago, I can state that this collection contains a good variety of stories. There’s more than one cyborg character, but they’re in very different tales. Something I have no trouble remembering is stories that I find to be unusual. Anything I’ve enjoyed enough to read again sticks in my mind. In this book, my favorites are Eternity Today, Room 42, and A Long Horizon. Honorable mention for The Backup, wherein there is a clone, and Rememorations, wherein the importance of memory is explored. In any anthology, there are always some stories that I don’t love. There were also a couple of those here.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I’m pleased to recommend it. Better late than never, I say. I’d be interested in reading The Memory Chronicles, should anyone decide to write it.
But the award for Most Unintentionally Horrifying Story About Immortality has to go to Gareth Foy, who penned “The Essence of Jaime’s Father.” This piece manages to be the most abstract yet gut-wrenching bit of work in this volume, and I'm not entirely sure how Foy pulled it off. I'm not even sure he intended to do this. All I know is that this story opened up a pit of despair in my soul that I generally only feel when engaged in Facebook discussions about religion and foreign policy.
In a nutshell, Jaime is a young man experiencing the beginning of Earth' death throes, as the sun expands to swallow the inner solar system. Science has bought the Earth a few extra thousand years, but red giants are inevitable and physics is a harsh mistress. His father, however, has an answer: convert humanity to beings of pure energy and let them wander the universe until time itself grinds to a halt. Jaime and billions of others are looking forward to this, but Jaime's father has decided not to go through with the transition. Not because he's afraid of his project's implications, but because he feels the need to stay behind to let those who fear a permanent existence know that death is still possible in that state. Eventually we learn that Jaime's old man has already done this countless times, and has lived through countless versions of the universe.
That's where I started freaking out. Of the great stories in this collection, Foy's is the only one that addresses the utter tedium of watching the universe roll out, expand, breed life, destroy life, and collapse, over and over again. Worse, every time the cycle resets, it's the same universe unrolling in the same way, right down to the people who are born (and die), and the order in which they appear and vanish back to the dust whence they came. It's like being trapped in a drive-in movie theater with the same four double-features forever. Sure, it'll take a while to memorize every line of every film, but eventually you're going to want to slit your wrists, except you can't because you're made of pure energy. (It works out in the end, but...Gah!)