Broken Worlds: Dystopian Stories by Anthology

9/10 A selection box well worth dipping your fingers into.

Please note, I bought this because one of my MA colleagues is a contributor – but I have still tried to give a fair review.

Since there are dozens of stories in this generous anthology, I won’t be commenting on individual tales. It’s more useful for a potential reader to have an overall sense of the whole collection. If it were chocolates, it would be made by Montezuma – high cocoa content, strong and dark, with unexpected and intriguing flavours.

Many stories show a near future disquietingly close to our own times. Some explore android and human relationships, and a few are only suitable for older readers due to explicit sex and violence. That’s unsurprising with characters struggling to survive in decaying worlds, combating the unlimited privilege of the 1% or defying all-pervasive censorship.

One chilling tale has echoes of the Holocaust, and many readers will be unsettled by another story with bizarre and dangerous architecture. However there’s a balance and range too – considerations of memory storage and oblivion, artificial eyes linked to the Internet, visions and our faith in them, and hallucinations, make you wonder about perception. I’m pleased to say there’s even dark humour: a Vegan militia, some rather unusual menu items and back-chatting robots.

A selection box well worth dipping your fingers into. Careful – some of those flavours bite!

Broken Worlds: Dystopian Stories
Almond Press
310 pages in paperback
Cover Art: Broken Worlds by Daniel Tyka

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