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Brave New Worlds

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4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  1,978 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
From Huxley's Brave New World, to Orwell's 1984, to Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, dystopian books have always been an integral part of both science fiction and literature, and have influenced the broader culture discussion in unique and permanent ways. Brave New Worlds brings together the best dystopian fiction of the last 30 years, demonstrating the diversity that flouris ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 2nd 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Rob
If I rate the anthology as a whole using my usual "as the average of the contributions" system, then Brave New Worlds gets a composite rating of 4.0303. But I loved what Adams did here, and it may have de-throned Wastelands to become my new favorite anthology.

Individual stories rated as follows:

"The Lottery", Shirley Jackson - one of the classic dystopian fiction stories; and the narrative's success is due (in large part) to how prosaic and unassuming it is--not "pastoral", but written like so
...more
Ruby  Tombstone [With A Vengeance]
Feb 17, 2013 Ruby Tombstone [With A Vengeance] rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, also young people
As far as short story anthologies go, it really doesn't get any better than this: 36 stories by well-respected writers, each one a chilling dystopian vision of the future, raising a rich variety of seriously mind-bending questions about the world we're living in today.

The stories have obviously been very carefully curated, so that each flows smoothly to the next. Certain themes (like reproductive rights, time management, privacy and the ageing of the world's population) are explored from differ
...more
Stefan
Even people who don’t usually read science fiction will often be familiar with a few classic titles in the “dystopian SF” sub-genre. After all, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World are some of the few SF titles that have entered the mainstream literary canon to such an extent that they’ve become assigned school reading for many students. However, novel-length dystopian SF didn’t stop with those venerable classics, and can even be said to be thriving ...more
Andrea McDowell
This is a very big book of very depressing stories. Read it in small doses.

The stories themselves are mixed, and range from classics that I'm glad to finally have a legal copy of (like Ursula le Guin's "The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas"--any thinking, literate, even moderately leftish person should read this story at some point in their lives) to duds (Orson Scott Card is not a bad writer but his story in this collection, about an unfixable plague that reduces human life expectancy to the e
...more
Travis
Jan 18, 2015 Travis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Check it out from a library, but don't buy it like I did because only about 20 percent of the short stories in this anthology are actually worth reading; the rest are extremely boring and esoteric. Also, there were more spelling and grammatical mistakes in this book than in all the books I've ever read, combined. Don't know why this guy is so popular just because he can copy/paste other people's short stories and throw them all into one book without even proofreading it. I'm pretty sure I could ...more
Carolyn
3.5 stars
A very good compilation of stories exploring the them of dystopias. One warning - find some light/fluffy/happy books to read in between chunks of this book, it is just too depressing to read one after the other with no relief.
Some classics, like "The Lottery" and "Minority Report", and plenty of new stuff, this is a great primer, each story exploring a different kind of dystopia. Not for the faint of heart, either.
Alex Telander
Mar 01, 2011 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1984 came and went without Big Brother rearing his ugly head in quite the way he did in the book; though one could say things got a little hairy during George W. Bush’s eight years of the Patriot Act and Home land Security, and yet in today’s world can you really say that you are completely free to do as you please without feeling like anybody’s watching you? Perhaps you see this world in a different light: do you use a disposable phone, screen your calls, use “incognito mode” in all your online ...more
Gerry Huntman
Jan 10, 2011 Gerry Huntman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Where do I start? 30 of most of the best dystopian short fiction in the English speaking world's history. Nothing less.

I normally like to review each story (or the key stories) in anthologies, but this is difficult for 30 of them, spanning nearly 500 close-printed pages. Also, I feel inadequate to comment on specific stories that are now legendary.

The worst stories were still very good. The best are unmatched. Pure and simple. These stories were more than entertaining, they were thought pr
...more
Emily
Aug 28, 2012 Emily rated it it was amazing
This is my third John Joseph Adams anthology, and I have to admit that I'm becoming somewhat of an addict. That said, I didn't like this one as much as the previous two. As I look at the stories individually, I don't think this is so much a selection issue as it is that dystopias are really depressing. I would recommend trying to read no more than 1 or 2 stories at a time and spacing this book out with other stories. I would say this is a solid 4.5 and after waffling a bit, I'm rounding up.

I kn
...more
Cristina
Nov 18, 2014 Cristina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Passando por vários contos distópicos clássicos como The Lottery de Shirley Jackson ou The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas de Ursula K. le Guin, esta enorme antologia contem 33 histórias de universos alternativos ou universos futuros, com autores tão distintos quanto Paolo Bacigalupi ou Geoff Ryman.

De entre os vários contos alguns são, claro, banais ou esquecíveis, escolhidos provavelmente mais pelo caminho distópico distinto do que propriamente pela história isolada. Ainda assim, possui alguns d
...more
William Mansky
Distinctly hit-or-miss. I tend to rate anthologies more highly, though, since once you've read them through, you can go back to the good ones as many times as you want. And there are good ones in here, no doubt about that. Ursula LeGuin's The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas is a beautiful statement of the utilitarian paradox. There are all the classics: Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, Phillip K. Dick, and of course what's a dystopia without Kurt Vonnegut. There's even a short comic by Neil Gaiman, ...more
Suzanne
Jun 06, 2012 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is truly a wonderful collection of dystopian short fiction. I had no idea that this many high quality stories of this type had even been written! There isn't a false note here, or at least not a story in a style I didn't like. I loved the organization, with each story sharing a theme with the one before and after it, gradually easing you into new ideas and themes. I'm certainly going to look for more anthologies edited by John Joseph Adams.
Jana
Jan 11, 2015 Jana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a glorious, glorious anthology. It is a lot of different Dystopian short stories combined in one big volume, and they range anywhere from classic to modern, but they're all more adult than YA. I really did enjoy pretty much all of the stories. There were only two or three I didn't completely love, but I still think really highly of the anthology as a whole. I also loved that in the back they recommend Dystopian movies and books for you to read.
Kate
Jan 05, 2015 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to say I didn't like this anthology. I've read a few others by Adams and found them mediocre to moderately amusing. But this one just didn't do it for me. I started skimming through the stories very early on and I'd made it to page 150ish when I realised I was always hoping the next story was not terrible. I don't need to make time in my life for "not terrible". So I gave up.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I've been reading through this slowly right before bed. Dystopia before bed? Why not?

This is a great anthology of dystopian short stories. My favorites were those by Finlay, Lindsley, Vonnegut, Card, and Castro. You can read story-by-story murmurings in my blog.
Jonathan-David Jackson
An excellent collection of dystopian short stories. Lots of new ones and old ones, including Minority Report, which I didn't know was a short story. My favorite is probably Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman, but I enjoyed them all. Thanks, Caroline Salvi, for getting me this book like 2 years ago. :D
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
Mind blowing. Bizarre. Disturbing. Dystopian.
R.M.
Oct 07, 2014 R.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
See the rest of my review here: Brave New Worlds


I'm only going to mention the shorts that I enjoyed. The first of that was the very first story:

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

A haunting tale about a village that has a peculiar yearly ritual where all the members of the town gather to pick out a name, and whoever is chosen, well, is chosen. To what? Nothing pleasant. What I interpreted from the tale is that sometimes we get so caught up in the routine of it all that no one really questions if wh
...more
Krystle
★★★★☆ The Lottery — Shirley Jackson
★★★☆☆ Red Card — S.L. Gilbow
★☆☆☆☆ Ten With a Flag — Joseph Paul Haines
★★★★★ The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas — Ursula K. Le Guin
★★☆☆☆ Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment — M. Rickert
★★★☆☆ The Funeral — Kate Wilhelm
★☆☆☆☆ O Happy Day! — Geoff Ryman
★★★☆☆ Pervert — Charles Coleman Finlay
★★★★☆ From Homogenous to Honey — Neil Gaiman & Bryan Talbot
★★★☆☆ Billennium — J.G. Ballard
★★☆☆☆ Amaryllis — Carrie Vaughn
★★★★☆ Pop Squad — Paolo Bacigalupi
★★★☆☆ Auspicio
...more
Rachael
Jan 14, 2017 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent collection of dystopian short stories with some terrible editorial introductions.
Mathew
Jan 07, 2011 Mathew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While we’re living in interesting times, we might as well enjoy the show. Brave New Worlds is a great companion to an increasingly acrimonious and digital world. Editor John Joseph Adams has assembled a relevant anthology of dystopian short fiction for the 21st century.

The anthology assembles dystopian classics along side more contemporary works. Included is Harlan Ellison’s classic, “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman among other notable stories from notable speculative fiction authors li
...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
While reading this book over the past week or so, I have been asked by several people whether this book is a sequel to the classic dystopia written by Aldous Huxley. Answer: no, it isn't. The title is of course a reference to that work, but the book is not explicitly about Huxley's (although one story, "Arties Aren't Stupid" did remind me of it). Brave New Worlds is an anthology of dystopian stories by both famous and mostly unknown authors.

Like any anthology, the quality varies. Some of the sto
...more
Mark
Aug 08, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished, scifi
First I must tell you of Kwai-Chang Caine, because you do not know him. You have to be ancient, like this poor traveler and wise. Kwai-Chang you see, is from before, not just from before now, but also from far away.

He was trained in Shangri-La, by Bruce Lee and Ghandi to be the world's gentlest and most badass man. He walked the earth, through California's blistering gold rush, and he carried a flute.

Now, The Man ran the railroad, and the saloon, and the ranches, and he did weigh heavy on the
...more
Sarah
Jul 05, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
I wish for short story analogies that there was a way to further break down the ratings without going story by story. Individually there were some wonderful stories, and the anthology editor did an excellent job in pairing them with one another. One negative, specifically for the kindle edition, is that not all of the stories were cleared for reading on the kindle.

I do have two negative comments about the book despite the "I liked it" rating (this is the type of genre that should have elicited a
...more
H. Anne Stoj
re-read january 2013

29 january 2011

I have yet to be disappointed by Adams's anthologies. I haven't read them all, but he really does find interesting stories to go with the overall theme. And, the further reading list at the back is marvelous. I always love it when anthologies have that.

I'd imagine most people have read 1984 or Brave New World. Perhaps as part of a class where you slog through wondering what's the point. What always amazes me when it comes to dystopian stories is how accurate th
...more
~
Dec 25, 2016 ~ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compared to the Wastelands anthologies this felt flat. There were a few genuinely good stories and a lot of repetitive stories that seemed to come to the same conclusions. For an anthology about dystopias, I expected more imaginative and distinct stories.
Janet
Jul 17, 2015 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This is what a collection of what dystopian fiction should be. It’s a fantastic book full of incredible writers and the stories themselves are, in my opinion, almost perfect. I have a hard time with full length dystopian fiction but bite-sized short stories are exactly what I love the most when reading this genre.

What I liked: There are a total of 36 stories in this book, and while I loved almost every single one, there were a few that really stood out for me.

Many of the stories in this collecti
...more
Stephanie
May 07, 2011 Stephanie rated it really liked it
This was a really good pick-up-put-down read. I don't just start at the front cover and read through to the end. There were great lapses in between. However, I really liked a lot of the stories. Of course there are some classics by the grand dukes and dames of speculative fiction like Ellison and Jackson and Le Guin and Bradbury; there are also stories by relative noobs like Doctrow and Bacagalupi. The selection also includes a few writers I've never heard of. Overall, I think Adams' selections ...more
Richard Magahiz
Feb 11, 2011 Richard Magahiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anti-authoritarians
Early on when I was reading this collection I found I had to put it down because of the sheer weight of all the visions of human misery. Dystopias can be depressing! Who could have guessed. After a while, though, the sheer variety of dystopic invention would continue to provide excuses to keep pressing on, as if I were a tourist among places which were each beset with their own private version of Hell, but able to move on in fifteen pages or so. Some of the characters are crushed by the oppressi ...more
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Short Fiction: Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories 3 5 Mar 29, 2016 07:40AM  
Utopian and Dysto...: Collection of Shorts! - Brave New Worlds - John Joseph Adams 1 7 Jan 07, 2014 08:31AM  
Is this book out of print? 2 19 Dec 11, 2012 12:21AM  
Dystopian Heaven: Brave New Worlds 1 4 Sep 19, 2012 08:27PM  
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (cons ...more
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“You can be sure that all laws affecting the welfare of the young are the work of doddering moribund ancients afflicted with angina pectoris, atherosclerosis, prolapses of the infundibulum, fulminating ventricles, and dilated viaducts.” 0 likes
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