{4/5} “It has always been the will of man to separate us in thought, in clothing, in language. Separate, we can be controlled. Separate, we can be killed in the quiet of the night and disappear into myth. Separate, we forget that in the end we have the power.”

Shine edited by Jetse de Vries was published in 2010. The subtitle is “An anthology of near-future optimistic science fiction.”

“Castoff World” by Kay Kenyon — Child and Grappa live on a raft. They eat fish, and they give garbage to Nora to take care of. This is the way it’s always been — Child doesn’t even remember her parents. Their life is peaceful, but Grappa warns her about what to do if pirates come someday.

What will happen when Child eventually meets other people? Nora makes use of nanobots to change things from one form to another. I saw a show about nanobots recently, and they seem poised to be a big deal in the near future. This is a well written story that’s a bit more subtle than some of the others.

“Twittering the Stars” by Marie Ness — Six people head into space on a 5-year mining mission. Two pilots, two engineers, a doctor, and a plant expert. While on board their ship, the plant expert uses Twitter to keep in touch with her followers. Of course, the unexpected is always a factor — with a small crew in tight quarters and a deadly vacuum on the other side of the ship.

This story is told through tweets (i.e., each message is 140 characters or less). You might think that’s a gimmick, but in a good writer’s hands it’s just another way of telling a story. It works very well here. The story is about the interaction among the crew.

These are slice-of-life stories with great ideas about how we could be living our lives in the not-too-distant future. The anthology is a worthwhile endeavor, and even if the stories don’t become your all-time favourites they’re worth reading. They may even give you ideas about how we can do things better.

Like Star Trek, these stories will give you hope for the future.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 3rd, 2013 at 9:38 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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