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Cyber World: Tales of Humanity's Tomorrow Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B01LKSR2Q0
- Publisher : Hex Publishers, LLC (November 8, 2016)
- Publication date : November 8, 2016
- Language : English
- File size : 4886 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 251 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,079 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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In the spirit of old school sci-fi, Joshua Viola and Jason Heller present us with the latest views from the edge. The anthology features 20 diverse stories from the genre’s leading writings. It satisfies our desire for the hacker runs of yesterday and the singularity-centric glimpses of the near future. There are stories include VR rigs, feedback loops, AI sentience, robotics, the future of medicine, and more. Cyber World is dark, gritty, and rooted in real-world concerns.
List of Fiction
* Serenade by Isabel Yap
* The Mighty Phin by Nisi Shawl
* Reactions by Mario Acevedo
* The Bees of Kiribati by Warren Hammond
* The Rest Between Two Notes by Cat Rambo
* The Singularity Is in Your Hair by Matthew Kressel
* Panic City by Madeline Ashby
* The Faithful Soldier by Saladin Ahmed
* Your Bones Will Not Be Uknown by Alyssa Wong
* Staunch by Paul Graham Raven
* Other People’s Thoughts by Chinelo Onwaulu
* wysiomg by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro
* We Will Take Care of Our Own by Angie Hodapp
* A Song Transmuted by Sarah Pinsker
* It’s Only Words by Keith Ferrell
* Small Offerings by Paolo Bacigalupi
* Darkout by E. Lily Yu
* Visible Damage by Stephen Graham Jones
* The Ibex on the Day of Extinction by Minister Faust
* How Nothing Happens by Darin Bradley
Having your fantasies become reality is always better than living in reality and wishing you were somewhere else.
– The Singularity is in Your Hair, Matthew Kressel
Select Stories & Summaries
Visible Damage (Stephen Graham Jones) — In the far future, where life is seamlessly integrated with technology, a hacker-artist named Raz is commissioned to capture an ASCII-graph image of an artificial intelligence. Some simple B & E, a little art, what could possibly go wrong? A cyberpunk story set in a post-singularity world, Visible Damage is well written and frightening. It explores the nature of humanity and hubris Black Mirror-style.
The Singularity Is in Your Hair (Matthew Kressel) — A severely crippled 16-year-old freelance coder teams up with an AI in the virtual world to create premium synesthetic experiences. Kressel uses real technology such as hackable exploits and public key cryptography to craft a VR world with real brand names and is highly relatable. A powerful story that deals with technology’s deeper value and our rush to have it.
The Ibex on the Day of Extinction (Minister Faust) — A Kenyan-Canadian eco-tech developer is working to create a sustainable ecology in a war-ravaged Niger when something terrifying happens. Like many stories in the anthology, it features an interesting multicultural setting. It also explores the relationship between mankind and progress.
Darkout (E. Lily Yu) — This story explores the role of social media and an all-pervasive surveillance system sweeping across a near-futuristic world. Held hostage by hackers, the governments of the world decree that everyone can watch everything 24/7. What does it mean for privacy issues and society as a whole? Check out one man’s perspective in this creepy short.
Serenade (Isabel Yap) — A post-cyberpunk tale of two hackers hired to extract data from an encrypted USB stick. The information they find may be more than the client asked for. There’s plenty of multicultural aspects that are reminiscent of old school cyberpunk. The story is about accepting the real world in a digital age.
The Rest Between Two Notes (Cat Rambo) — In a near-apocalyptic New York, a girl exercises her inner demons in the safety of VR. But safety is overrated and, put bluntly, sometimes hitting things in the head is justifiable. Dark and powerful writing. Every kid in America should read this for a cathartic release.
Small Offerings (Paolo Bacigalupi) — In a futuristic world ridden with disease and despair, birthing becomes nearly impossible. Small Offerings tells the story of one researcher’s strong desire to overcome this obstacle while dealing with the chaotic world around her. The controversial subject matter makes this unique and original.
We Will Take Care of Our Own (Angie Hodapp) — It’s election year and the Senator Tia Isandro is ready to discuss new robot-care legislation. Unfortunately, she’s in Elevated Reasoning International’s pocket. When society creates the most important innovation since the toaster oven, the moral obligation to maintain the defective creations is called into question.
Other great stories include the innovative A Song Transmuted by Sarah Pinsker, the action-packed Your Bones Will Not Be Unknown by Alyssa Wong, and Paul Graham Raven’s tale of running in the shadows, Staunch. The cutting edge and diverse nature its stories help Cyber World do for modern sci-fi what Mirrorshades by Bruce Sterling did three decades ago.
In short, I haven’t had this much fun since the last time I was cruising down the spindle with a good rasta dub playing in the background. Or maybe it was that time I ate falafel in the Budayeen? (Ugh, that was a long night.) Anyway, be sure to pick it up or check the bundles for a dedicated soundtrack, t-shirt, and poster. 5/5 - Edge of Infinity (edgeofinfinity.tk) / Follow on Twitter: @edgebookreviews
(This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.)
The Mighty Phin by Nisi Shawl.- Prisoners are held in a ship traveling to a distant planet far, far from Earth and things start to take a turn for the strange and terrifying.
The Rest Between Two Notes by Cat Rambo.- A teenager goes to therapy and uses virtual reality to kill her mother and work out her resentment. But when she finds out that her mom is going to fire her therapy aide she freaks.
The Singularity is in Your Hair by Matthew Kressel.- A severely disabled teen enters into a virtual reality world to escape her real one. She hopes that a friend in her VR can figure out a way to upload her mind to VR permanently to free her from her dying body. But all is not as it seems.
Besides the fact that it's lighter than a feather, it's an appallingly bad and heavy-handed compilation. The foreward says "one of the things I like about Cyber Word is that it shows cyberpunk has left its heteronormative boy's club roots behind in the dust."
...It would be fair to say that the compilation hammers us over the head with this. It's not subtle. The first and second stories try so hard to be "ethnic" that they both end up completely incoherent. (The first assumes that I understand Tagalog or some other foreign language, and the second was just totally unreadable.) A major plot-point of the third story was a three-way polyamorous homosexual marriage. And on, and on...
If you like reading fiction that has more to do with progressive gender and minority issues circa 2016 than it has to do with science fiction or cyberpunk, be my guest. I found it heavy-handed, annoying, and certainly not worth wasting time on. But that's just this stale pale white man's opinion!
And, yes, I'm familiar with Dangerous Visions -- I own the first edition -- and I enjoy most sci-fi and cyberpunk compilations. This one's just uniquely bad. Please try to be more subtle next time, guys.
The writing can vary throughout the book depending on the story and overall was well written. I would definitely recommend the book to a fan of cyber science fiction.
Top reviews from other countries
1. Isabel Yap's "Serenade"
2. Warren Hammond's "The Bees of Kiribati"
3. Cat Rambo's "The Rest Between Two Notes"
4. Saladin Ahmed's "The Faithful Soldier, Prompted"
5. Alyssa Wong's "Your Bones Will Not be Unknown"
6. Chinelo Onwualu's "Other People's Thoughts"
7. Angie Hodapp's "We Will Take Care of Our Own".
The book is beautifully illustrated and printed, making the reading experience aesthetically pleasing as well.
If you are inclined towards reading cyber-oriented and yet thoughtful tales of the probable future, then this book is for you.
"Cyberpunk isn’t cool anymore because it doesn’t have to be. It’s gone beyond cool. It’s life itself, the good and bad of it."
"One of the things I like about Cyber World is that it shows cyberpunk has left its heteronormative boy’s club roots behind in the dust."
"Today we no longer fear technology. It’s no longer a question of assimilation. What remains to be seen is what we are about to become."
"As each story for Cyber World popped up in my inbox, my confusion about how I defined cyberpunk grew. And I loved that feeling. Left to define the term “Cyber World” as they saw fit (or gloriously unfit), the authors formed a vast unconscious collective that redefined cyber-something-or-other for the current millennium. A network, you might even say. I don’t say that flippantly. Cyberpunk—or should we just start saying “cyberfiction”?—must continually plug back into itself, challenge itself, consume itself, and reinvent itself if it hopes to survive and remain relevant."
I can't explain how awesome it is to see short fiction that had an emphasis on diversity, yes. But also clearly inclusivity. Almost all the stories make specific points in regards to how this genre can be relevant today. It totally works. There were, I think, two stories that didn't really resonate with me but I saw why they were there and what they contributed. I just couldn't get all that into them. The other stories though, it's very difficult for me to select some favorites, that's how much I liked this collection. There's pansexual relationships, queer content, feminist content. Stories where people continually change their gender as their life progresses and the nice thing about these stories is that this progress is assumed, as it should be. There's tons of representation in these stories and it's very clear after reading just how good these stories are that representation like this makes a big difference in the quality of fiction produced because of it.
From a story about what faith might look like, from a Muslim perspective no less, in the future. To an entire sentient city's thoughts. I just could not have enjoyed myself more. The authors that weave in action always do so in such a way that always makes it secondary to a more overall and purposeful exploration of a question. This is what has always pulled me towards the genre. It's what makes it so riveting and exciting. You get philosophy, action and sometimes, you also get smart commentary on relevant subject matter during all of it.
Here's some of my favorite quotes from some of the short fiction as well:
"I will dive to find Rosalie. She is out there, floating for me if I can only swim long enough, climbing up through silent silver bubbles up and up and free."
"It was true. Nothing was ever lost. And nothing was ever forgotten, no matter how painful. The city was like a heart that way. She had four chambers, too. She had arteries that led in and out. She kept things moving. She kept the oxygen flowing in and out, in and out, clean for dirty, dirty for clean, the filthy midnight whispers for the purest morning prayers"
"her searches told her all mothers felt this way, at one time or another. There always came a day—no matter how hard one tried, no matter how tightly one locked the door and barred the windows—when the outside world would come creeping in. When your baby’s head would turn away from the glowing hearth of home and toward the glitter of false promises."
"I blinked, and the world exploded with data. Images, scanned documents and photographs, a whirlwind of numbers, under-the-table deals, and whispered words."
Funny how they’re corpses if you didn’t know them, but bodies if you did."
“Maybe we should all find one,” I say. Or maybe, just for once, I should wait for someone to find me first.
"That would prove a recurring trait in him—the need to cover up his inadequacies with small lies and slight exaggerations. To pretend knowledge he didn’t have. I forgave him this flaw for I knew what it hid; I could feel his need like a pleasantly raw wound in my mouth, and I could not help but savour it."
"She glimpsed the sexless mounds between their legs and shuddered. For some reason, she found their lack of genitals uncannily obscene, an indignity, a piece of humanity they had been denied."
"Everywhere they touched, my skin responded. It sent signals to the receiver, to the synth, to the amp, and the sounds were broadcast over the PA. I’d set it to translate this first song into a single key, so the notes built into chords, then broke apart. I had ways to distort, to sustain, to make a note tremble as if it were bowed. It was me: I was playing me; they were playing me. I was the instrument, the conduit, the transmutation of loss into elegy, song into prayer, my own prayers into notes, notes into song. Body and music, fingers and hands, they drew me out."
"Their detectors, like everything else about them and their small, shrinking world, were always looking for the wrong weapons, Sem thought as he began to sharpen his pencil."