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Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep Paperback – April 9, 2015
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Scandinavian writers tend to have a dark and twisted side that they show mostly in crime novels, but I was happy to find these tortured characters and worlds in more sci-fi/cyberpunk genres as well in this compilation, with some stories that managed to make me check my door locks twice at night before going to sleep.
All in all a highly recommended book if you're not afraid of dark, slightly twisted and unexpected stories.
In Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep readers get to experience the genres of science fiction and fantasy in this fascinating anthology from the land of the midnight sun. 26 stories (some quite long) cover the gamut of the genres, with plenty of dystopian worlds spelling doom and gloom. Others will take you to other worlds, others to the future, and others to a very familiar place where things just aren’t quite right.
“Melody of the Yellow Bard” is an unusual story about wormholes and how what you find on the other side isn’t always that great. “The Thirteenth Tower” is a moving tale set in a destroyed world where those within it learn of how good times were before. “The Road” is of an alternate world featuring a female marshall employed by the Road Council, charged with keeping everything in order.
While the dystopian future is a common theme with a few of the stories, there are many others on diverse and unusual subjects, some short some long, providing a great smorgasbord (sorry, I had to) of stories for interested readers.
Originally written on July 9, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.
First, I have to say...for the lay reader (like me), there's a certain hipster-niche in the phrase "Swedish Science Fiction." And if that dissuades anyone from looking at this anthology, then that's a shame. This is a darned fine collection of thought provoking short stories...starting off very strongly with Melody of the Yellow Bard and a solid followup with The Rats. I think my favorite is the semi-titular "Keep Fighting Until the Machines Fall Asleep," which neatly incorporates themes of humanity and automation. Quite a few of these stories have twist endings, and more than a few are dystopian (some more than others), but all of them are very interesting reads.
It also bears mentioning that the text and editing of this anthology are first-rate.
This is an enjoyable volume of hard-core sci fi. I really enjoyed reading it.
I have very mixed feelings about the anthology. It consists of a whole bunch of short and very short stories by different authors, so I expected to like some and did not like the others, simply because they would be different.
The first one was so slow it was painful to read. The translator really needs to sharpen his or her skills, too. The story did not make sense and the ending was not good, quite illogical and pointless. Then things started to feel better with some more interesting stories that seemed to be translated better, or maybe I simply got used to it. Some of the stories suffer from the same phenomena - the author has a great idea for the beginning, but then does not seem to know what to do next, so the story seems to be finished in the middle of the paragraph with no logical end.
That being said, I was thoroughly enjoying some of the stories from the book, especially "To Preserve Humankind" and "Quadrillenium".
"The Mirror Talks" made me feel sick, glorified graphic child abuse is not my favorite topic to read.
Most recent customer reviews
Short story collections are always a little tricky to rate, especially when there are a number of different contributors.Read more
I absolutely enjoyed all the stories in this book (for individual ratings...Read more