Diverse Energies

by Paolo Bacigalupi, Ursula K. LeGuin, Malinda Lo, and Cindy Pon

A stimulating collection of science fiction stories has the welcome and successful... read more

A stimulating collection of science fiction stories has the welcome and successful intent of celebrating the “diverse energies” of writers today and the futures they imagine, although a number of those are decidedly bleak. Many of the contributors are writers of color and most of the stories feature characters that are racially and ethnically diverse. It is our world today, projected on a future in which divisions of economics and the possibilities and pitfalls of technology are even more profound. Daniel H. Wilson describes the first days of a robot revolt in the unsettlingly entertaining “Freshee’s Frogurt.” In K. Tempest Bradford’s “Uncertainty Principle,” reality constantly shapeshifts for Iliana, whose past keeps changing because the time/space continuum is being manipulated. Two teenage boys, young lovers, seek a place to call their own in Rahul Kanakia’s bleak Los Angeles of “Next Door.” Paolo Bacigalupi’s “A Pocket Full of Dharma” imagines current political tensions and technology spinning into a future where a homeless boy in the slums of a Chinese city finds himself in possession of the mind and soul of the young Dali Llama, which has been downloaded to a data cube. And Ursula LeGuin’s “Solitude,” about a girl raised among a species on another planet who can’t adjust to human ways of relating, is incredibly original while still reflecting the feel of old-school science fiction. These and other contributions to this mind-expanding work will satisfy science fiction enthusiasts and newcomers to the genre. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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