Our Children Are Not Our Children
on Dec. 06, 2013
I would have to call this satire. These are funny stories. I started off thinking I was going to read some heartwarming tales of how parents try to cope with their darling children, but each of these tales goes terribly wrong somehow. The humor isn’t so much in the stories, which take on some fairly serious issues like child neglect and abuse, but in their offbeat perspective on things we normally take for granted in society. “Car Trip” reveals a collision of single-mindedness about bathroom breaks. “Baby Teeth” is about child neglect, misplaced values and then rationalizing the results. “Taking Off” is about climbing mountains and establishing relationships. “Overexposure” deals with things we all try to keep invisible. “Daycare” is about saving money on child care. This is a quick read—highly recommended.
on May 27, 2016
There are 16 stories in the anthology, all of which detail some adventure that has to do with space, alien invasion, interstellar battles and so forth. There’s kind of low diversity in the authors on this one, as you might expect given the topic, but the stories make up for it with fairly diverse characters. Also, we get to see some exotic aliens. There were several of the stories that I liked a lot.
One of these is “Grid Drop” by William Huggins. Celeste is part of a team that enforces the anti-tech provisions of a Fallowing, where an overpopulated and over-polluted world is stripped of technology so it can recover. She and her team are on a mission. They take the shuttle down to the offending village to deal with the problem. Will there be resistance? Can they save anyone here?
Another story that really caught my attention was “The Mytilenian Delay” by Neil James Hudson. This one is brilliant, sharply plotted, and very edge-of-the-seat. The captain of a warship has been ordered by her command to destroy the world New Borodin. Thinking the order is questionable, the captain sends the order by slow radio, which means there is a Mytilenian delay, and the order can be rescinded within 30 hours by faster-than-light communication. She expects a mutiny, but her crew holds fast. She discusses the order with her command, and realizes the Empire is in disarray, so large now that communication has broken down. Lodging her complaints about the order, she waits for it to be rescinded. Will the order be changed? Will there be a decision in time to save New Borodin? Read the story to find out.
These stories are all generally entertaining, including plot twists and subtle humor. Three stars.