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The Future Chronicles - Special Edition Paperback – September 16, 2015
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Its companion series – Alt.Chronicles, The Illustrated Chronicles and Chronicle Worlds – are similarly ground-breaking in their coverage of less mainstream tropes such as alternative history and shared universes.
Created by award-winning author Samuel Peralta, and edited by some of the most-respected editors in the genre, each volume brings together work from visionary new voices and from the grandmasters of modern science fiction and fantasy.
This Future Chronicles - Special Edition volume is a compendium of stories selected from the Chronicles’ standalone titles, and includes five new stories, never before published, from some of today’s best writers in speculative fiction.
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"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
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.
- Publisher : Windrift Books (September 16, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 476 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0993983251
- ISBN-13 : 978-0993983252
- Item Weight : 1.08 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 1.08 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,076,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #8,915 in Science Fiction Anthologies (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Full Disclosure: I've been privileged to be in three FC anthologies so far (Alien, Z & Immortality) and have spots reserved in at least two more scheduled to run in the next six to eight months. Other than reading and loving The Future Chronicles Special Edition anthology, I have no involvement in the collection.
So if the different anthologies released in the past year were all-star teams, then The Future Chronicles is a best of the best. Some of my favorite stories from collections like The Robot Chronicles, The Telepath Chronicles, The Alien Chronicles and The A.I. Chronicles appear, inviting you to rediscover them, to read them again for the first time in the context of this new collection, outside of the confines of their genre-specific collection. For some, it seems to imbue them with new meaning. When reading A.K. Meek's The Invariable Man (later expanded to a longer book) with a brand new story on one end and stories about telepaths just pages later, it almost can be read with a new and different point of view.
In The Future Chronicles, we get eleven stories previously released in those first four of the Future Chronicles collections. Each of these stories is excellent and represents those anthologies wonderfully. What is an extra treat are five brand new stories from Sam Best, Susan Kaye Quinn, Deirdre Gould, Angela Cavanaugh, and Moira Katson, as well as a Foreword penned by Hugh Howey. Each is a breath of fresh air. With the general theme, you don't quite know what to expect...will these stories be about robots, telepathy, aliens, or something else entirely. I'm thrilled to say each of these could very well serve as a foundational block for an anthology of their own.
While I don't want to ruin any discovery a reader will make on their own, Sam Best really rocks the beginning of the entire collection, Quinn again provides her own brand of singularity fiction with her story, Gould presents a mind-bending tale that will leave you shaking your head, Cavanaugh could give you nightmares (or are they...) for her story The Assistant and Katson threatens to leave you with tears after reading her heartbreaking story of defiance in the face of death.
What's really amazing is how each of these stories works not only in the confines of their own specific genre, but also all alone and then back in the comfort of other Future Chronicles stories that may or may not be in the same vein. Peralta has crafted a juggernaut and readers are reaping the benefits. If you get the chance, read The Future Chronicles and then explore the other titles available in the Kindle Store.
This book starts out strongly with a particularly good foreword by Hugh Howey. I usually skip these because they tend to be wordy and self-indulgent but not this one. Howey really puts his finger on what I like about short stories.
As with any anthology, there are highs and lows. What’s more, my highs and lows will likely be different than the next reader’s. But I’m confident that most science fiction readers will find things to like in these stories.
Iteration by Dierdre Gould, PEPR Inc by Ann Christy, The Assistant by Angela Cavanaugh, and Humanity by Samuel Peralta were particular standouts for me. These stories showed me things I hadn’t seen before, and did it in an engaging way full of pathos and life. They immersed me into the situation and let me really feel them.
The theme of this book is both a boon and a bit of a quibble. On the one hand, we have a collection of stories that represents the broad range of styles and subjects of an entire series of anthologies, which is very cool. On the other, the stories are of course only loosely related under the idea of “the future,” which lessens the impact just a bit. I feel a little bad about mentioning it, since you can’t have one of those hands without the other, but I do prefer when an anthology has a tighter theme binding the stories together.
But, as Hugh Howey’s foreword described, these stories plant seeds in your mind and lead to interesting thoughts. If you’re a person who likes to ponder the potential of the universe, check this one out.
Favorite quotes from the book:
“It made her feel like she had forgotten to wear a skirt and had just now noticed she’d been walking around that way all day.” ~~from PEPR Inc by Ann Christy
“She began to gyrate menacingly, and made noises that I hoped were speaking, because otherwise I was pretty sure she was about to tear my limbs off and devour whatever was left.” ~~from Trials by Nicolas Wilson
"Dream of Waking" and "The Assistant" remind me of 90's-era Outer Limits episodes (And I mean that in a good way).
Some of the stories just don't work. "Iteration" fixates on metaphysical solipsism as though it's the most amazing idea in the world. "Green Gifts" suffers from being a background story of another book series, but commits the greater sin of not really even being a *story,* much less a stand alone one. "The Null" is an amusing, comic-book anti-hero story, but was a little too on-the-nose and by-the-numbers (and the writing was cheesy, though I think this was intentional). "Legacy" could have been on of the best (the writing is very powerful), but the incoherent ending left me confused.
But for $0.99, you get more than your money's worth. This is also a good way of discovering new SF writers. I look forward to reading other volumes in this series.
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