Diverse Energies edited by Tobias S. Buckell
368 Pages- Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
October 1, 2012 -Tu Books
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Purpose: For Review
I was given a copy of this galley free, in exchange for my honest opinion
From Goodreads: “No one can doubt that the wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. No one can doubt that cooperation in the pursuit of knowledge must lead to freedom of the mind and freedom of the soul.” —President John F. Kennedy, from a speech at University of California, March 23, 1962
In a world gone wrong, heroes and villains are not always easy to distinguish and every individual has the ability to contribute something powerful. In this stunning collection of original and rediscovered stories of tragedy and hope, the stars are a diverse group of students, street kids, good girls, kidnappers, and child laborers pitted against their environments, their governments, differing cultures, and sometimes one another as they seek answers in their dystopian worlds. Take a journey through time from a nuclear nightmare of the past to society’s far future beyond Earth with these eleven stories by masters of speculative fiction. Includes stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, Ursula K. Le Guin, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Daniel H. Wilson, and more.
I reached out to Tu Books, because I had heard about what they were doing about diversity in YA literature, and I wanted to do my part. I received an enthusiastic response and links to two of their titles. I enthusiastically downloaded both titles and then- I hesitated. Sure I had read (and really liked) Wolf Mark. (Oh no! I just realized I never posted my review…) That was a title I had received not knowing who the publisher was. But, what if this title sucked? Yes, this anthology is packed with authors that I have had on my TBR pile, and a few that I had even read. Still, I hesitated. I didn’t want to get excited about this title only to be disappointed. That would have been okay with some other books, because it does happen. I just didn’t want it to happen with this one. I am happy to report that all of that doubting and hesitating was without merit. Tu Books has smoothly slid into the position of my go-to publisher for diversity in YA science fiction-without any hesitation.
Now on to the review ( I did this a little differently than I normally would for an anthology).
The Last Day by Ellen Oh
I was not expecting this at all. There is so much here – the bonds of friendship, the chains of deception. In such a short time I found characters that I not only liked, but cared about. In the end, I was heartbroken and wanted to rant “it’s not fair”. Instead I applauded him for his bravery.
Franshee’s Frogurt by Daniel Wilson
At first, I wasn’t sure what was going on. But as the story progressed, I became invested. It was gory and painful. Some parts were so realistic, I hurt just reading it. It was funny and there were moments I couldn’t help but laugh, even though it was life or death.
Uncertainty Principle by K. Tempest Bradford
Thought this was a short story, I felt that it was complete. I was left with a satisfying story. That is not to say that I would complain if Bradford continued this story. Bradford has quickly been put on my list of authors to check out. I admire Iliana’s strength and fierceness.
Pattern Recognition by Ken Liu
This story had me questioning. I find it interesting that human computation is real since I had never really heard of it. (Something I’m going to look into.) I read another short story by Liu, and can say he has an authentic voice and an easy rhythm of writing.
Gods of the Dimming Light by Greg van Eekhout
I’m impressed! This didn’t end as I expected it would. I really enjoyed the redefining of a hero. So often being a hero means sacrificing so much, including the ones that we love, that our acts begin to lose their meaning.
Next Door by Rahul Kanaka
I remember feeling sad that they had to make the choice. It didn’t seem fair. I remember liking Aakash and Victor disliking Joel and his father. I didn’t really understand Joel and his father’s role in the city. Unfortunately, my notes didn’t save so that’s all I remember.
Good Girl by Malinda Lo
Small glimpses into a world where hope does not exist. People disappear and you hang on to the hope/idea that they’ve made it. It is enough while not being enough at the same time. Honestly, I am unsure how I feel about this story.
A Pocket Full of Dharma by Paolo Bacigalupi
What an adventure! There were moments of confusion as he travelled through the different parts of the city. But that would have been my only complaint. Despite that I was still able to enjoy the story and make connections.
Blue Skies by Cindy Pon
This story made me sad. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it was. It was well –written and I did like the characters. It was bittersweet.
What Arms to Hold Us by Rajan Khanna
This is why I don’t like short stories! There is never enough. I felt that just when I’ve invested myself and emotions it ends. Boo! (But I did like the story.)
Solitude by Ursula K. LeGuin
This story was confusing and hard going at times. But I finally got it. This was not a story that could be absorbed, you had to work at it. I definitely want to read more of her work.
I really liked this anthology; it held such varied worlds and characters. There was something in here for everyone. While, I can’t pick one out as an absolute favorite, I can say that there wasn’t one that I didn’t like. I look forward to reading more of all the authors.
5 stars *****