Brave New Worlds (Dystopian Stories)
John Joseph Adams
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Your every movement is being tracked, your every word recorded. Your spouse may be an informer, your children may be listening at your door, your best friend may be a member of the secret police. You are alone among thousands, among great crowds of the brainwashed, the well-behaved, the loyal. Productivity has never been higher, the media blares, and the army is ever triumphant. One wrong move, one slip-up, and you may find yourself disappeared -- swallowed up by a monstrous bureaucracy, vanished into a shadowy labyrinth of interrogation chambers, show trials, and secret prisons from which no one ever escapes. Welcome to the world of the dystopia, a world of government and society gone horribly, nightmarishly wrong.
What happens when civilization invades and dictates every aspect of your life? From 1984 to The Handmaid's Tale, from Children of Men to Bioshock, the dystopian imagination has been a vital and gripping cautionary force. Brave New Worlds collects the best tales of totalitarian menace by some of today's most visionary writers, including Neil Gaiman, Paolo Bacigalupi, Orson Scott Card, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Ursula K. Le Guin.
When the government wields its power against its own people, every citizen becomes an enemy of the state. Will you fight the system, or be ground to dust beneath the boot of tyranny?
Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors.
everything that appeared in the first edition of the anthology. Due to various publishing difficulties— which are far too boring and inside baseball to discuss here—the first edition of Brave New Worlds did not get the distribution and shelf-life the publisher and I thought it deserved. (And judging by the reader demand for the book when it was unavailable, many of you agree.) Now those difficulties have been sorted out, and so Night Shade Books and I are pleased to present this second edition of
inside. Basically, we rely on a virus that turns people’s computers into relaying stations for us, and everything is encrypted and bounced around so that Centillion can’t see our traffic.” Sai shook his head. “You’re really one of those tinfoil-hat conspiracy theorists. You make Centillion sound like some evil repressive government. But it’s just a company trying to make some money.” Jenny shook her head. “Surveillance is surveillance. I can never understand why some people think it matters
Reed has created a society ready for a cull. But you might just ask the question: What is the collection—and who is the collector? S miles mean nothing here. Inside the station, everybody smiles. Optimism is the natural state of mind. But this particular smile is larger and brighter than usual, and it happens to be honest. The man grins at me while taking a slow and very deep breath, trying to infect me with his prurient joy. He has news, important enormous delightful news, and he 473 474 •
match. You’ll make her better, more compelling, so that Tilly will do a better job.” “Why would we do that?” Jenny asked. “Why would we want to help you run people’s lives with a machine?” “Because as bad as you think Centillion is, any replacement is likely worse. It was not a mere P.R. move that I made ennobling the human race the mission of this company, even if you don’t agree with how I’ve gone about it. “If we fail, who do you think will replace us? ShareAll? A Chinese company?” Jenny
he says. “I can run all the way, no problem.” I like my lie so much. So much. Humans living above our heads, comfortable and well fed, and thriving among them—essential and worshipped—a generation of doctors who aren’t consumed by every possible worry and hazard and the miserable future for their stations. Orlando looks back at me. “I’ll wave. When I’m flying over your head, I’ll The cull • 485 give you a big wave.” “And I’ll watch for you,” I say. Orlando turns away. I lift my least-human