Seeds of Change Hardcover – 21 Aug 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Ted Komatska's "N-Words" starts off this anthology. Set in a future time when experiments have resulted in the successful cloning of Neanderthals, humankind discovers itself giving way to old prejudices as it rebels against the perceived advantage of the cloned Neanderthals. I couldn't help thinking of Nancy Kress's "Beggars in Spain" while I was reading this.
In "The Future by Degrees" by Jay Lake, Grover works as a sales development person for Quantum Thermal Systems. His job is to present prototypes to potential investors. Grover's current project is a device that is capable of storing 18,000,000 joules of heat. Grover doesn't realize just how controversial the project is until an attempt is made on his life. Lake provides us with a gritty tale involving spionage, conspiracy, and an interesting mix of characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed "Drinking Problem" by K. D. Wentworth. When Joe goes to his regular bar and purchases a beer, the bar owner presents him with The Smart Bottle. The Smart Bottle is an environment-friendly project established by the government, and every citizen is bonded to the bottle for life by means of DNA imprintment. Joe tries everything in his power to get rid of the bottle, but he's unsuccessful. When he takes the bottle home, his wife Terri is at first irritated by the presence of the bottle.Read more ›
"I asked the contributors to this anthology to write about paradigm shifts - technological, scientific, political, or cultural--and how individuals and societies deal with such changes. The idea is to challenge our current paradigms and speculate on how they might evolve in the future, either for better or for worse."
Many of the stories, instead of being about future paradigm shifts, are projections of current issues or ailments (racism, global warming, corporate spies and piracy) into the future but also contain new shifts brought about by new technology and ethical issues about usage (how should we or even should we not) of these new technologies.
The anthology starts with a bang, with a story of future prejudice. Of the nine stories Endosymbiont by Blake Charlton, Spider the Artist by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu and Drinking Problem by K.D. Wentworth were my personal favorites.
* N-Words by Ted Kosmatka; eloquently captures the passion and pain of past and current prejudice and echoes them onto a future where a certain type of clones have become the latest persecuted ethnics.
* The Future by Degrees by Jay Lake; a solution is developed for efficient energy usage (little waste heat, high efficiency) and everyone will kill to get it;
* Drinking Problem by K.D. Wentworth; DNA coded one-per-customer-per-lifetime beer bottles with AI chips and various conversational modes make this story more horror than scifi for a committed beer drinker like myself.Read more ›