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The New Voices of Science Fiction edited by Hannu Rajaniemi and Jacob Weisman. Book review

December 22, 2019

Book cover of the new voices of science fiction

An anthology from well-established science fiction writers, never mind new authors, can be a very mixed bag. Not so The New Voices of Science Fiction. They are superb examples of very engrossing and affecting storytelling.

These writers demonstrate the breadth of concepts and worlds with which science fiction writers can create a delicious buffet of stories for readers to gorge themselves on and that, for emerging writers in the genre, there will always be plenty of room for stunning originality.

It was also interesting to see how light a touch could be used in worldbuilding, and yet keep the tales firmly located in the science fiction realm, even though the character’s surroundings were not lavish with detail.

Many of the stories were woven around interesting concepts where the technology was left to the reader’s imagination and quietly placed off the page. Instead, the characters and their responses were placed centre stage, leading to some very interesting and particularly heart-rending reading.

One of the stories concerned the decision someone had to make when giving over, and therefore giving up, the capacity to communicate in their native in order to pay for their child’s education. This not only took me through an emotional rollercoaster, but also made me think hard about the value of being able to communicate effectively, birth right and identity.

After reading the book I am still left mulling over the type of important contemporary issues that well written science fiction stories are so good at highlighting.

I will certainly be looking out for these authors over the next few years.

The New Voices of Science Fiction was courtesy to Tachyon Publications.

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