Brave New Worlds
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Brave New Worlds

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  906 ratings  ·  142 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
ebook, 492 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Night Shade Books (first published December 22nd 2010)
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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 som...more
Ruby  Tombstone [Uncensored or Else]
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
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.
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
Gerry Huntman
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
Lisa
Like any collection out there, this book had its ups and downs. Some of the stories were really good, others were...not.

Honestly, my biggest complaint about this book was how it was organized. When it started out, it seemed like there was a nice variety of stories. But then suddenly everything was very thematic--stories about sexuality grouped together, stories about population control grouped together, etc.--and I realized I'd been tricked at the beginning, because those were 'classic' dystopi...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
Alex Telander
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
Peter
I thought my sci-fi/fantasy days were pretty much behind me. I was sure my dystopian story days were behind me, that I'd outgrown them. Then I was given this book in a secret santa gift exchange... and was happily proven wrong. I had to swallow a bitter pill and recognize that I was arrogant back there.

This book takes place mostly on terra firma. Some stories are on the moon or some other such thing, but it's nice that most of them are local. I started to keep track of which of these short stori...more
Suzanne
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.
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.
Richard Magahiz
Jul 06, 2013 Richard Magahiz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Matt
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
Ethan Clark
Recently, it seems, I've begun to find the dystopian genre more alluring, and this anthology of such tales just happened to be on sale for sixteen dollars at Border's a couple of months ago. How could I pass on an offer like that?

The entire compilation of thirty-three various dystopias was brilliant, the editor (John Joseph Adams) giving just another information in the preface of each tale by comparing it to some event in recent history or the like. The societies seemed to flow from theme to the...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
Martin Mcgoey
Adams makes quality anthologies and I'll soon be looking for another one. There is an abundance of stories here, each with different takes on a dystopian society. Some of my favorite stories from the collection were by Philip K. Dick (The Minority Report), Kurt Vonnegut (Harrison Bergeron), Shirley Jackson (The Lottery), Kim Stanley Robinson (The Lunatics), Joseph Paul Haines (Ten With a Flag), Orson Scott Card (Geriatric Ward), and Paolo Bacigalupi (Pop Squad). "Pop Squad" was by far my favorit...more
Mike
John Joseph Adams’ anthology of dystopian tales opens with Shirley Jackson’s classic “The Lottery”- a masterpiece of short fiction which goes right for the jugular and sets the tone for the rest of the volume. Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” appears at the beginning of the collection and, with Jackson’s story, provides a philosophical basis on which the subsequent tales can be analyzed: what price are individuals willing- or forced- to pay for social stability and order?
I...more
Sarah
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
Hannah
I really enjoyed this anthology because it was a mix of something I find interesting to consider, dystopias, and something I very much enjoy reading, great short stories. One problem I've found with some dystopian novels that I've tried to read is that I just don't want to invest a full 250-350 pages of my time into one story about a certain type of societal failing so this short story form really worked for me. I stopped reading this book for about a year because the stories are organized by dy...more
Mark
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
Stephanie
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
Emily
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
Charity
Wowzers! I really adored this collection, which read like the 'Who's Who of Dystopian Literature.' I tried my best to savor the stories by reading a few here and there, but I could very easily have sat down and read the whole thing in a weekend. Believe me, it wasn't always easy to set it aside. Most of the stories are absolute classics of the genre and you just can't get enough! One of the best aspects of the book is the introduction to the authors and stories that editor John Joseph Adams lays...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
Anna Cain
A great anthology of dystopian short stories. I particularly liked the arrangement. Although Adams did not formally split the stories into sections, pieces with similar content are grouped together. It is very interesting to see different author's takes on the same issue. My only critique was that though Adams did select some of the most famous stories in the genre, ("The Lottery" and "Repent Harlequin, Said the TickTock Man" for example) a large part of the anthology is filled with midlevel mod...more
John Patrick
So I took a while reading this book. While that is more to do with me playing a lot of Minecraft as apposed anything about the book. Over the last few years I have really started to enjoy more short story anthologies. I love being able to sample different authors and see how their stories intertwine to build a larger story or theme. There are some great stories that explore a the theme of the Dystopian society. It is filled with cautionary tales about all kinds of possible futures. One story in...more
Stephen Ormsby
This galley was supplied by NetGalley and only included a few of the stories from this collection. If these stories are anything to go by, this is one heck of a collection. As with any anthology such as this, you will get the odd story that does not work for you and a majority of them that will.

This one surprised me by having more than the average amount of stories that I liked. There are a lot of depressing one in here, but that is what happens when you collect so many dystopian stories togethe...more
Suz
I have an unrepentant love of dystopian stories. I think it's an amazing vehicle to delve into men's psyche, especially when you look at the societies created. I also don't believe in utopia (someone's utopia is always someone else's dystopia).

This anthology is a great collection of different dystopias focusing on different issues. There are newer and older stories. Some of them look at man's (in)humanity, some look at totalitarian issues and how they can be implemented, and some look at the who...more
Brian
Excellent if enjoyed in small doses.

I enjoy all types of dystopian and paranoid ramblings. I even devour some really nihilistic books that wither a persons spirit but this book was incredibly dark. It was a good chance for me to read The Lottery which I had heard so much about over the years and still failed to read and I must say I enjoyed it but it seemed to be one of the lesser stories.

There is a great mixture of all the darkest and saddest types in the book and generally they seem to flow w...more
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John Joseph Adams—called “the reigning king of the anthology world” by Barnes & Noble.com—is the bestselling editor of many anthologies, such as UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS: NEW ADVENTURES ON BARSOOM, ARMORED, LIGHTSPEED: YEAR ONE, BRAVE NEW WORLDS, WASTELANDS, THE LIVING DEAD, THE LIVING DEAD 2, BY BLOOD WE LIVE, FEDERATIONS, THE IMPROBABLE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, and THE WAY OF THE WIZARD...more
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The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes The Living Dead (The Living Dead, #1) Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse The Living Dead, Volume 2 (The Living Dead, #2) Epic: Legends of Fantasy

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