Brave New Worlds (Dystopian Stories)
John Joseph Adams
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?
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arguably legal. The wireless transmissions were floating in public space, for example, so there was no violation of privacy. And the end user agreement could be read to allow everything Centillion did to ‘make things better’ for you. Second, these days, how do you get your news except through Centillion? If Centillion doesn’t want you to see something, you won’t.” “So how did you find these documents?” “My machine is connected to a network built on top of the Net, one that Centillion can’t see
question is a serious one, and was being widely debated in 1961, when the story was published. Civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s was designed to remove inequalities between races, and later between genders and for 512 • gary k. wolfe the handicapped. Yet inequalities remain even today in terms of income, education, social status, and the criminal justice system. Is Vonnegut suggesting that the government can go too far in trying to make everyone equal? Does equality mean
161 Peter Skilling ➢ Alex Irvine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179 The Pedestrian ➢ Ray Bradbury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 The Things that Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away ➢ Cory Doctorow 197 The Pearl Diver ➢ Caitlín R. Kiernan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229 Dead Space for the Unexpected ➢ Geoff
of the moment. Relaxing, he breathes and drops his shoulders, his pleasure matching that very smug grin. “I knew it,” he says. Maybe that is a lie, maybe not. I don’t need to look. “This place is a stinking dump,” he says. “But everybody walks around singing. How crazy is that?” “You don’t feel that way,” I say. “Not most of the time.” “And do you know why?” He blinks. “Why?” “I haven’t kept you happy like the others,” I say. “This is intentional. It has been my strategy for years. You are sane
and sober while the others are neither, and I knew conflicts would arise. Some incident. Some excuse. This is a day both of us saw coming, and that’s why you stole those supplies, and that’s why I allowed it.” The boy has never been happier. “But you are mistaken too,” I add. “Marching alone across the world? No, that isn’t your fate, Orlando. You must believe me.” He wants to believe. “What happens to me?” he whispers. “Put on your outdoor clothes, please. Now. We need to walk past the lake and