Since I’m a science fiction writer, you can safely assume that SF is also my favourite thing to read. So when my writing is published in an anthology or magazine, it’s the best of both worlds—reaching new readers, and getting to read the other great offerings in the collection.
I’m pleased to have a short story included in the recently published anthology Future Visions Vol. 3 edited by Brian J. Walton. And proud to have work in the same company as these excellent tales.
My story Elysium is the last one in the anthology (a placement I’ve always been partial to) but there’s no fear a reader won’t get that far. SF short fiction often finds its genesis in exposing the unsavoury underbelly of current trends, teases out the possibilities, and weaves a poetry of its own from the threads of our human frailties. That’s well demonstrated in this collection, and although it would take too long to detail every story, here are a few of my favourites:
Margery Bayne’s Another Life distills a looming moral dilemma down to just two people in crisis as a woman named Dana wakes up, only to be told that she’s been in a coma for 23 years. Exploring love, memory, obligation, and a slippery slope of personal rights, Another Life is, above all, very human.
After All by Bret Carter tells the story of Ben who believes he might be the last true musician because technological developments and corporate greed have warped his beloved art form beyond recognition. But his efforts to fight back unleash a devastating force (and you won’t thank Carter for what he leaves in your brain, either).
In Space Witch Yolande Ryle imagines the first manned spaceflight to Ceres. It’s the most light-hearted tale in this collection, even playing with the line between magic and advanced technology, but it explores a question that’s held my interest for a long time: are we Earthlings being watched? And judged? And what if the judgment doesn’t go our way?
A Lament For Marla by Mike Adamson takes us to the dark aftermath of climate change in a story that deliberately evokes Soylent Green (by name) but the way its conclusion links hope with degradation packs a powerful punch.
Nolan Janssen’s The Running Mill paints the terrible cost of the free market system to a future America where the jobless poor run on treadmills to produce clean power. But when one talented runner is given a chance to make his mark on the world, the shining dream isn’t all it’s made out to be.
A nasty mash-up of social media and the self-improvement mania takes a frightening twist in A Century of Faults by Evan Scott Edwards. And a well-meaning attempt to save the world from a growing shortage of bees veers in a disastrous direction in P.R. O’Leary’s Pollen.
And there are still more engaging stories by Robert Jeschonek. Michael W. Clark, Joseph Aitken, B.A. Paul, and, oh yeah…me. My story Elysium follows ex-cop Gib Thorne as he tries to solve a rash of seemingly unrelated deaths while coping with his terminally ill mother’s “upload” into a digital afterlife. If there’s life after death, can there be murder, too?
Short stories are like tantalizing appetizers compared to the full meal of a novel, so if you’re looking to stimulate your science fiction taste buds with some pungent flavours, Brian J. Walton is a very savvy editor and I’d recommend his whole Future Visions series—new offerings are published about every two months. Future Visions Volume 3 is a great place to start, available in Kindle and paperback editions.