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Bloody Shambles

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Pale Fire: A Poem in Four Cantos by John Shade
Vladimir Nabokov, Brian Boyd
Pale Fire
Vladimir Nabokov
Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground New Edition
Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind
Under Stones
Bob Franklin
The Erotic Potential of My Wife
David Foenkinos, Yasmine Gaspard
A Corner of White
Jaclyn Moriarty
Winter's Bone
Daniel Woodrell
Progress: 99 %
Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders
Neil Gaiman
The Beetle
Richard Marsh
Wreck This Journal
Keri Smith
Brave New Worlds - John Joseph Adams As far as short story anthologies go, it really doesn't get any better than this: 36 stories by well-respected writers, each one a chilling dystopian vision of the future, raising a rich variety of seriously mind-bending questions about the world we're living in today. The stories have obviously been very carefully curated, so that each flows smoothly to the next. Certain themes (like reproductive rights, time management, privacy and the ageing of the world's population) are explored from differing perspectives, sometimes through back-to-back stories. And if the stories alone don't get your brain pumping, there's a study guide at the back, along with an enormous list of further reading and a dystopian cinema guide. Seriously - if this book doesn't have something for you, if it doesn't make you stop and think about something new, or at least give you the odd tiny chill going down your spine... give up. You're officially a lost cause, and you should just stop reading. I've added the full list of stories below with my personal verdict, but it really is hard to pick out highlights when the overall quality is this high. Even the stories I didn't love weren't terrible - they just suffered by comparison with the other stories around them. Note: The stories marked with a "♛" are those that were truly incredible, and I highly encourage people to track down a copy for themselves at all costs..!CONTENTS✘The Lottery — Shirley Jackson - One of my least favourite stories, but still a classic for a reason.✔Red Card — S. L. Gilbow✔Ten With a Flag — Joseph Paul Haines♛ The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas — Ursula K. Le Guin - The price of happiness.✔Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment — M. Rickert✔The Funeral — Kate Wilhelm✔O Happy Day! — Geoff Ryman - Very dark indeed.✔ Pervert — Charles Coleman Finlay✘From Homogenous to Honey — Neil Gaiman & Bryan Talbot✔Billennium — J. G. Ballard✔Amaryllis — Carrie Vaughn♛Pop Squad — Paolo Bacigalupi - Reproductive rights - So immersive, you can smell the hormones.✔Auspicious Eggs — James Morrow✔Peter Skilling — Alex Irvine✔The Pedestrian — Ray Bradbury✘The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away — Cory Doctorow✘The Pearl Diver — Caitlín R. Kiernan✔Dead Space for the Unexpected — Geoff Ryman✔“Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman — Harlan Ellison®✔Is This Your Day to Join the Revolution? — Genevieve Valentine✔Independence Day — Sarah Langan♛The Lunatics — Kim Stanley Robinson - Slavery✔Sacrament — Matt Williamson✔The Minority Report — Philip K. Dick✔Just Do It — Heather Lindsley✔Harrison Bergeron — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.✘Caught in the Organ Draft — Robert Silverberg✔Geriatric Ward — Orson Scott Card✔Arties Aren’t Stupid — Jeremiah Tolbert♛Jordan’s Waterhammer — Joe Mastroianni - Slavery♛Of a Sweet Slow Dance in the Wake of Temporary Dogs — Adam-Troy Castro - The price of happiness✔Resistance — Tobias S. Buckell✘Civilization — Vylar Kaftan✔The Cull — Robert Reed✘Personal Jesus — Jennifer Pelland♛The Perfect Match — Ken Liu - Online privacy - I've been thinking about this one ever since I put the book down. At first I thought the writer was being a bit heavy-handed in emphasising the links to today's culture and technology, but then it started to sink in for me.. It really IS scarily similar to the technological world we live in..... in fact almost identical if you think about it. Amazing to think that we already have let most of these things happen and are largely unaware of what we've done by giving up our privacy and right to choose. A lot of the material is available online in full text or podcast. The editor's website is an awesome source of free stuff and extra information: http://www.johnjosephadams.com/brave-new-worlds/free-reads/Go there. Go NOW!