Posts Tagged ‘Social Science Fiction’

Well, life in the far future as depicted in TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH is, to be sure, not exactly cheery.  And Amazon’s keywords do include the term “Dystopian,” as well as “Horror.”  But here’s a description from Erin Roberts’s “How to Tell If You’re Living in a Dystopia — And Why It Matters,” from TOR.COM:  Dystopian fiction, which comes from the Ancient Greek words “dys” (bad) and “topia” (place), lives up to its name by featuring worlds in which reality is cruel, suffering is extreme, and hope seems pointless.  But not every horrible place is a dystopia — the trope usually features a world in which society itself is the problem — and not every dystopia is horrible in the same way.  The social order is broken, but how?  The system has been corrupted, but by whom?  These futures may be bleak, but they are not interchangeable.  And so the question, are troubles in TOMBS primarily that of a social order (or orders) gone wrong, or is it more just a physically lousy place to live?  Or some kind of combination of both?

Ms. Roberts suggests four questions one could ask to determine whether one’s milieu is dystopic or not, mostly having to do with societal origins and hopes of relief, but as some of the comments after may suggest those might not be the only criteria.  But see for yourself by pressing here.  While as for TOMBS, for more information click on its picture in the center column, read the reviews, and perhaps buy a copy.

Sunday I received the contract for Hydra Publications’ dystopian anthology (see May 30), along with the announcement from Editor Frank Hall that it now has at least a tentative name, DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS.  My story in this is “Invisible People,” itself a reprint originally published in the Winter 1992/93 edition of DARK INFINITY.  Monday the signed copy goes in the mail and, if all goes well, DYSTOPIAN EXPRESS is expected to leave the roundhouse by the end of the year, “sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Other authors and stories are also listed in the May 30 post, below.  Mine is a bit of near-future science fiction where people who lose their place in society — as through loss of a job in this case — become truly invisible, but also able to see the real world including its defects, hidden by mass brainwashing techniques from the general populace.

So what’s Nokbok (pronounced Knock-Bock)?  Let Untreed Reads Publishing Editor-in-Chief Jay Hartman esplain:

“Nokbok is a new player in the all-you-can-read market that already has a few other significant players such as Scribd (who we’ve been with for years) and Oyster (who we are working with right now to get establish a contract).  The idea is that for $4.95 a month, a customer can read as many books Pedsas they’d like.  The author gets paid depending on how much of their book was read.  For people who opt for the free account, they will NOT have access to anything other than public domain works.”  He goes on to point out that, like with a lending library, readers don’t own the books they read — they can’t download or print them, for instance — and that all titles in Untreed Reads’s current catalog will be added, with Nokbok scheduled to launch by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Relevant to me, these will include my near-future “if this goes on” novelette PEDS, Christmas-time horror short story I’M DREAMING OF A. . . ., steampunk-mystery story VANITAS, and the lead story, “Appointment in Time,” in Untreed Reads’s 2012 anthology YEAR’S END:  14 TALES OF HOLIDAY HORROR.  For more on Untreed Reads and my titles with them press here, followed by pressing the title of interest, while for those who just wish to borrow, not buy, more information on how Nokbok works can be found by pressing here.

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