Federations
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Federations

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  317 ratings  ·  39 reviews
From Star Trek to Star Wars, from Dune to Foundation, science fiction has a rich history of exploring the idea of vast intergalactic societies, and the challenges facing those living in or trying to manage such societies. The stories in Federations will continue that tradition. What are the social/religious/environmental/technological implications of living in such a vast...more
Paperback, 379 pages
Published April 15th 2009 by Prime Books
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Wealhtheow
One of the better sf collections I've read lately.
The bad:
"Mazer in Prison" by Orson Scott Card. Mazer Rackham, the first human to defeat the Buggers, is waiting in a near-lightspeed ship for the Buggers to return, or the next human commander to be found. Very disappointing, like most of Card's work in his Ender's Game universe. The story is basically a back and forth of "I knew you knew that I knew that you knew, so I..."

"Life-Suspension" by LE Modesitt, Jr. Ugh.

"Someone Is Stealing the Great...more
Rob
In many ways, I've started to come to believe that you can't go wrong with a John Joseph Adams' collection. Wastelands was incredible, The Living Dead was great, and Federations...? Also very very good.

The "dust jacket description" of this anthology pretty much sums it up... It collects a few different modern takes on the classic science fiction trope: What does it take; what does it mean for a civilization to be interstellar and/or pan-galactic?

My take of Federations, it gets a composite rati...more
John
OK collection, best stories those by the stars: Card, Bujold. Also the worst/slightest: Modesitt, Martin.
Ben Nash
I've had my eye on this book for a while, even had it in my library for a while. What put me over the edge was watching Enterprise and seeing blog posts about the best Star Trek novels. I wanted something in that vein, but not bogged down by the baggage of Star Trek.

This wasn't the anthology I wanted, then, but the one I needed. (I know, I know)

Only at the very end did I find a couple stories that felt like the same sort of space opera I was looking for, and I'll certainly be trying at least a f...more
Theresa
Oct 09, 2012 Theresa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Mazer in prison, Orson scott card: the out look of the infamous Mazer, hero of the last bugger war, and guardian of all the knowledge of saving the universe is left in space in isolation, with no hope of seeing loved ones alive, how he handles and interprates the situation is dynamic, and evoloving.

Cathago Delena est; Genevieve alentine a very odd story of love and conquest

life suspension, l. e. modesitt: an odd story of how a man faces a future he can not comprehend

terra-exulata, s l gilbow
afte...more
Dorothy (D. J.) Emry
There are some big names here: Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card, Robert Silverberg, George R.R. Martin. One of the hooks to this collection is Card's "Mazer in Prison", a prelude to the events in Ender's Game.

Two of the best stories come from the lesser known authors. In "The culture Archivist" Jeremiah Tolbert shows us what happens when commerce is substituted for culture on a galactic level. In "My She" Mary Rosenblum explores the power of communication and its control in a future where bioeng
...more
DDog
Dec 31, 2009 DDog rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to DDog by: Jeremiah Tolbert
I bought this book purely for Jeremiah Tolbert's story, which did not disappoint, and was surprised to see other authors I liked among the contributors. There were a number of stories that blew me away, and several that really didn't, and the rest were good. Drill-down below...

The Excellent:
"Swanwatch" by Yoon Ha Lee
• Love the structure of this universe.
"Spirey and the Queen" by Alastair Reynolds
• Perfect mixture of "You don't live in this world so I will use enough words so that the things you...more
Dan Keating
John Joseph Adams' Federations is at-best a mediocre collection, putting together a few really good stories with a few really bad stories and a bunch of mediocre, interesting-but-could-have been better stories. My two biggest complaints about the collection are that it tends towards super-contemporary and slightly juvenile styles and it also contains several stories which are sequels, prequels, or otherwise part of story arcs set across multiple stories and novels by their authors, making the st...more
Sahil Raina
Sep 22, 2009 Sahil Raina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi nerds
It's hard to provide a sensible review of an anthology of stories. The rating probably gives as much information about my feelings about the book that this review will provide. Actually, I guess it could be the case that all the stories were mediocre or that some stories were fantastic and others pathetic. However, this anthology was somewhere between those two extremes: some of the stories were great (but not fantastic) and others were so-so (but not pathetic).

A recurrent theme in some of the s...more
Patty Jansen
I'd been looking forward to reading this. I love space opera, I love aliens and space ships and strange planets. However, as a whole, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with this, and wouldn't rate the entire collection more than 'OK'.

There were three stories which I thought were outstanding:

Prisons, by Kevin Anderson and Doug Beason
Symbiont by Robert Silverberg (by whom I've yet to read a piece of fiction I didn't like)
Golubash, or Wine-Blood-War-Elegy by Catherynne M. Valente

Others I tho...more
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I snagged this at the library because another review led me to think that the Bujold story in this collection was new. However, it isn't; it's the coda to Shards of Honor.

The stories that I enjoyed were "Life-Suspension" (L.E. Modesitt), "Different Day" by K. Tempest Bradford, "Swanwatch" by Yoon Ha Lee, "The Culture Archivist" by Jeremiah Tolbert, and "The One with the Interstellar Conquest" by James Alan Gardner. "The Other Side of Jordan" by Allen Steele wasn't bad, and "Like They Always Been...more
Tim
For science fiction fans, here's a collection of 23 short stories by accomplished and recognized sci-fi writers. I loved 17 of them, skipped 4 after a short trial read, and a couple others were "okay."

This sort of book is a great way to determine whether a reader likes an author's style and perspective, and then can proceed to explore further works. For one who prefers novels, these were simply enjoyable, and a reminder that short stories and vignettes can be developed quickly with great satisfa...more
Eric Bauman
I consider anthologies edited by John Joseph Adams to be as close to a sure thing as there can be in story collections. I feel that Mr. Adams has a good eye and will find more interesting stories than duds.

Having said that, this might be the exception that proves the rule.

This book for me seemed to have a lot more "meh" stories than usual. Some were good, some I didn't get, but most just struck me as "well, that story's done". In addition (and this may be my failing, because I'm not that smart),...more
Joshua
Jun 23, 2009 Joshua rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes their sci-fi stories grand yet introspective
A nice group of short stories that focus on the grandness of space and the beings who travel though it. While I wasn't a fan of every story here (what short story anthology has been released where a person enjoyed every single story), each story is unique and well written enough to make this an entertaining read for anyone who likes short stories that while modern, also feel like throwbacks to the golden age era of science fiction. There are some true standouts here as well, like Twilight of the...more
Elizabeth
Such a great collection. Sadly but expectedly, the work by the most well-known authors, the ones on the cover (Card and Bujold) left more than a little something to be desired, but the absolutely excellent stories by folks like Cat Valente, Yoon Ha Lee, and K. Tempest Bradford made up for it in spades. Well worth a read, even if you find Card intolerable and Bujold tiresome - don't let the cover fool you. :p The collection is worth it for the stories I mentioned, but they're all pretty excellent...more
Sarah
You can never tell with most short story collections - because they're so often made up of a number of different authors, they can be really uneven. I'm glad to say that's not the case with Federations. I honestly liked every story in here - okay, I skipped the one that was all horrible puns, but other than that, these are all really solid takes on the entrenched systems and overarching organizations found in so many tales in space. Catherynne Valente's "Golubash" was my personal favorite - defi...more
Cupcakencorset
This collection of sci-fi short stories is packed with really good writing. In any collection, you expect a few duds, a few that just don't ring your happy bell (so to speak). In this one, only one story didn't capture me and that was not because the writing wasn't good. Rather, it was the final part of a three-part short-story saga and the first two parts weren't included, so it was hard to get into part three. Otherwise, this is a first-rate collection. Highly recommended.
Christopher Munroe
Short stories of immense scope. I'm not generally a big fan of the whole Space Opera genre as a general rule, but the stories presented here are well chosen, well plotted, and bring a fascinating sense of the bigness that science fiction is capable of exploring. Unique ideas are explored, unusual worlds are visited, and interesting characters struggle to find a place in a universe so massive that it threatens to dwarf them. Very strong works, I enjoyed this compilation very much.
Jacob
Collections of short stories are often uneven in terms of delivering something to your taste, and this is no different. A few of the stories (e.g. Bujold's and Sawyer's) are quite good, but most are just filler and a couple (e.g. Turtledove's and Li's) really do not belong since they are not up to snuff.

Overall, it was definitely worth reading more than a couple of recent Science Fiction club books.
Kristi
Interesting book, but not Adams strongest collection. Some of these stories made me feel a bit at sea with the heavy science (these are definitely the science in science fiction) but some I really liked and made me think. And of course classics are here too, like the singing ship of Anne McCaffrey. A decent read.
Denny
Like many anthologies, the stories are varied in tone and quality. There are too many "gimmick" stories here, but a few of them are worth the punchline. I'd say I enjoyed about 80% of the stories, and I finished all but the very last. If you grew up on Star Trek or pulp SF, you'll find this worth picking up.
Natalie
John Joseph Adams is my favorite editor of speculative fiction anthologies. From Wastelands to The Living Dead, he never fails to disappoint, and the same is true of Federations, a collection of sci-fi shorts dealing with intergalactic societies. There are some real gems in this collection.
Bruce
This is a confederation of science fiction short stories involving (but not necessarily about) galactic federations. Some of the stories have good humor and maybe a twist at the end. Others may make you think further on the subject, and to me that is what SF is all about.
Bright
Highlights: Swanwatch by Yoon Ha Lee, Pardon our Conquest by Alan Dean Foster, The Ship who Returned by Anne McCaffrey, My She by Mary Rosenblum, The Shoulders of Giants by Robert J. Sawyer, Prisons by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason

The rest I skimmed.
E.
Feb 13, 2010 E. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
A sombering collection of the scenarios that can occur when humans encounter life outside of earth. Nice backstory of the formation of the program that trains Ender Wiggins but depressing reflection of humanity's effects on other civilizations.
Yune
I got this because my sister has a story in it; in the past, this hasn't always meant that the anthologist's taste concurred with mine. But I found all of the stories here quite readable, if not mind-blowing. A good mix under the theme.
WillowBe
A book where almost every story ends badly? And the kind of sci fi where the names are unpronounceable, or the author has a story about a world that it's obvious he knows about, but the new reader can't get it- not interested.
Travis Knight


Review in progress.

Damn impressed by this collection so far. The range is huge, the talent strong, and the best of the shirts simply mind blowing. Will review more when I get further into the collection.
Jared
A nice collection of short stories. The Bujold and Silverberg are absolutely perfect, and many of the other authors contribute strong efforts. The only duds are the Card and Turtledove stories.
Kelly
Excellent collection. Out of all of them, there were really only two stories I didn't really care for. My first time reading a short story collection and I really enjoyed it.
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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
More about John Joseph Adams...
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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