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Shine: An Anthology of Optimistic SF

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  118 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Some of the world's most talented SF writers collected to throw light on a brighter future.

Shine: a collection of gems that throw light on a brighter future. Some of the world's most talented SF writers (including Alastair Reynolds, Kay Keyon and Jason Stoddard) show how things can change for the better. From gritty polyannas to workable futures, from hard-fought progress
Paperback, 453 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Solaris
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(showing 1-30 of 439)
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Mar 30, 2012 David rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Optimists, pessimists, heavy metal dinosaurs
So you're tired of grimdark sci-fi, dystopias and alien invasions and guns'n'guts military SF. You'd like to read something where the future is actually a better place. Well, that's the premise behind this anthology of optimistic science fiction put together by Jetse de Vries. It consists of sixteen short stories by a fairly eclectic and international batch of authors, ranging from first-timers to genre heavyweights like Alastair Reynolds and Kay Kenyon.

I found the premise intriguing, with my fi
I enjoy a dark 'n gritty dystopian tale as much as the next SF fan, but after a while they get a bit repetitive. And after following real-life news for a while, it gets hard to imagine any future in which the human species isn't doomed and taking everything else on the planet with it. So I was in the market for this anthology's brand of cautious hopefulness.

De Vries has assembled quite a mix. The short-short stories didn't do much for me personally, and the Gord Sellar story was so tedious &
Fred Warren
Science fiction is not a cheerful genre. You might think that people preoccupied with the future would be purveyors of all that is happy and uplifting–flying cars, wonder cures, brave new worlds, friendly aliens, robot maids–a merry universe filled with optimistic geekery.

You’d be wrong, mostly. Oh, the happy-sappy stuff is out there, but it’s dominated by gloomy, grimy, horrific tales of Humanity Gone Wrong. Stories that wake you in the wee hours to whisper in your ear, You will all die–or you
Dec 28, 2010 Shinynickel marked it as to-read
Off this review:

One of the best anthologies of recent vintage is Jetse de Vries' "Shine." Its virtues are easy to enumerate. It offers a clear-eyed theme and unique remit: optimistic, near-future SF. It features a wide range of voices and styles. Its editor is young, knowledgeable, energetic and hip (the anthology was assembled with heavy reliance on social media sites). On all counts, it's a rousing success, the very model of a modern project, and points the way toward a healthy future for SF
...I wonder if de Vries knew what he was getting into with this project. It's not as if others hadn't tried before and it is certainly a lot easier to let a negative view of the future get the best of you. The stories in this anthology don't always depict shiny, bright futures but to do all posses a sense of profound positive change, ranging from a very personal level to things that will shift the balance in a nation or even worldwide. The diversity of the stories and the consistently high quali ...more
Weak and preachy.
E.S. Wynn
First of all, this anthology rocks. It's worth reading, and it's quite substantial (as far as sci-fi anthologies go.) I love the concept (optimistic, near-future sci-fi,) and the writers within definitely deliver stories more positive than dystopian, which is very refreshing.

So why give this book only four stars?

A couple of reasons. First of all, the editing on some of the stories is absolutely atrocious. Think "I could have fixed this with spell check" level of atrocious. Second of all, I'm not
Shine is an anthology that comes with a lot of hype and an introduction that is utterly misleading imho - or maybe it's me and Mr. DeVries having quite different definitions of the terms sf and optimistic - since what Shine is about is mostly *mundane sf* extrapolated from current headlines, or sometimes even yesterday headlines like carbon trading and such which look more and more like the green version of the Jetsons and which will be dated very soon if not already so - and by optimistic, Mr. ...more
Eh...well, this took a while to get through. Very few true SF stories, largely speculative fiction. The best were "Castoff World" by Kay Kenyon and "Sarging Rasmussen: A Report (by Organic)" by Gord Sellar and "The Earth of Yunhe" by Eric Gregory -those are 5 star stories. The rest were all varying levels of good to ok, bland and unmemorable mostly.

Conceptually, I really like what "Shine" was aiming for. Imagining a future where everything has worked out for the best. A collection of post-utopi
Kathryn Daugherty
If these are optimistic futures, I would rather live in a Peter Hamilton Dystrophy. Every story starts would with the grimmest of visions; drastic weather, starvation, unemployment, and despair. And ends up with just a possible glimmer of hope...only if all past human behaviors are forgotten and we enter a world of drug addled fantasy land. None of these stories are helped by the editor's call for "diversity". Possibly a call for better writers would have made this a better anthology, but only w ...more
Although I hunger for this kind of SF (as opposed to the ever-popular dystopias), the stories here left me starved. I wish I could say more, but it's been a couple of years since I read it, and nothing has stuck to my memory.

Except for one story. I really enjoyed "Russian Roulette 2020" by Eva Maria Chapman. We may eventually translate it and include it in one of our own "bright future" anthologies.

(And I keep wondering how US readers took it ....)

Now I keep my fingers crossed for Hieroglyph: St
Sandy Parsons
I really wanted to like this book. I agree wholeheartedly with the dismal nature of scifi's infrastructure. But I don't think this mediocre collection is the antidote. Some of the stories were good, while I was reading them. But none of them, save the twitter story, really stuck with me, and I think that one did mostly due to the novelty. There was one about the rediscovery of books as lost sacred relics which was kind of cool and the idea that pickup lines can virally impact society, and a garb ...more
I read this because I had listened to the most amazing short story by de Vries on

I personally felt it was an interesting idea of compiling short stories with a positive outlook, rather than with a distopyan view.

I must also say that it somehow didnt work for me. Nothing really wrong, but most short stories I just couldnt get into. Then again, I am not a friend of short stories in general...

So I think this is one which I wouldnt recommend as
Mar 05, 2011 Shel added it
Shelves: utopias, alas, stories
"...this world is a place that is both beautiful and scary, inspiring and frightening, full of wonder and full or danger; and that we can make it work." - editor Jetse de Vries

I am passionate about the idea of optimistic sf and also wish to write stories that envision a positive future so I've been very interested in this fantastic project (following its progress online) and was pleased to be able to purchase the book on Kindle.

Alas, however, as of this time, I have not been hooked by the stori
Love the idea of optimistic, but stories were just OK.
This is a very disappointing anthology. It is misleading to classify many of these stories as science fiction. One story stands out: Twittering the Stars by Mari Ness. Following closely in the honorable mention category are: At Budokan by Alastair Reynolds and Castoff World by Kay Kenyon. Sarging Rasmussen by Gord Sellar is not really SF but is well written and fun to read. The other stories are either poorly written, not SF, boring, or all of the above.
Maybe I just don't care for optimism, but I could not get into this anthology. It could be that when you're expecting an upbeat ending, it's harder to invest in the characters and conflicts, or just that it doesn't fit the genre very well. Most of the stories were forgettable, and only a few were actually optimistic (with the rest going for ambiguous endings). I don't recommend it.
Oli N
This book has such a variety of themes, styles and ideas that half way through a story you just can't wait for the next one.

De Vries has made it a misson to have authors of diverse backgrounds and nationalities, as he introduces each ones at the beginning of their work you get a sort of story of stories feeling that ties each adventures together reinforcing the anthologie as a whole.
I really liked just about every story in this anthology. You'd think the relentless optimism and up endings would seem cynical after awhile, but there's just enough realism to not make it so. I just like the idea that instead of telling us how bad things are going to get, these stories show that there's a lot of good things that can happen too.
Philip Hollenback
This was a somewhat uneven but generally solid sci-fi anthology. I give it 4 stars instead of 3 because of it's unique angle: all the stories take place in the near future and ultimately end up with the world being a better place.

I found this book an excellent palate cleanser after all the dsytopian sci-fi I've been reading lately.
Patrick Hudson
This was an interesting idea, but it didn't quite come together. Despite a handful of goodies, too many of the stories were quite poor. I reviewed this for the SF fanzine The Zone:
Very collection of short stories that are positive scifi. Not that there are not problems in these alternative futures, but they show hope, beneficial development of tech and renewables and more.
Oct 25, 2012 Janet added it
Shelves: fiction, sff, bookclub, 2011
The stories are, indeed, optimistic. The quality of the stories is uneven. I loved some, found the others a bit meh. I didn't entirely skip any, though.
Only Read "At Budokan" by Alastair Reynolds. Not one of his best works.
Great sweet read. So tired of post apocalyptic stories.
Jan 02, 2012 Danielle marked it as to-read
esp recommended to me: twittering the stars
Terry Grignon
Aug 06, 2011 Terry Grignon is currently reading it
Certainly like the idea.
Nannah marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2015
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Jetse de Vries is a technical specialist for a propulsion company, and used to travel the world for this. Of late he's trying to settle into a desk job, in order to have more time for editing and writing SF.
Bibliography at ISFDB
More about Jetse de Vries...
The Singularity magazine (Issue 1) The Apex Book of World SF (Apex Book of World SF #1) Dreaming of Djinn A Mosque Among the Stars Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2012 (Mad Scientist Journal #1)

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