J. G. Ballard – Billenium (1962)

J. G. Ballard‘s short story Billenium was originally published in Amazing Stories in February 1962.

Billenium tells the story of an overpopulated world where space is at a premium. I read it in The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories (1992), edited by Tom Shippey.

Have you read it? What did you think? Leave your comment below.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

 

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Madeleine Ashby – By the Time we get to Arizona (2014)

Madeleine Ashby’s short story By the Time we get to Arizona was first published in the 2014 Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future anthology, edited by Ed Finn.

By the Time we get to Arizona tells the story of a couple trying to emigrate from Mexico to the United States. The setting is a dystopian world with ubiquitous surveillance.

Have you read it? What did you think? Leave a comment below or get in touch on Twitter @jlcronshaw.

You can buy Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future on Amazon.

Charles Yu – Standard Loneliness Package (2010)

Charles Yu‘s short story Standard Loneliness Package was originally published in issue 6 of Lightspeed Magazine in November 2010.

Standard Loneliness Package is set in a world where people can pay to have their emotions experience on their behalf.

Have you read this story? What did you think? Leave a comment below or get in touch on Twitter @ShortSFReview.

I recommend Charles Yu’s novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

 

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Kurt Vonnegut Jr. – 2BR02B (1962)

Kurt Vonnegut‘s short story 2BT02B was first published in If Worlds of Science Fiction magazine volume 11, issue six, from January 1962.

2BR02B tells the story of a future utopia where war, famine and disese have been erridicated and the population level is maintained through voluntary suicide.

I listened to this story for free through Librivox.

Have you read this story? What did you think? Join in the discussion on Twitter @shortsfreview or leave a comment below.

If you’re enjoying these podcasts, please consider leaving a review on iTunes or recommending the show to someone who may enjoy listening.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

 

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Eating

Grandma was delicious. It was probably the paprika that gave her that extra bite. Her funeral was boring, but once the vicar had finished telling us about a woman he’d never met, the eating was wonderful.

It’s a tradition in our family to specify a recipe as part of your will. I’ve opted for a rosemary crust and three-bean salad.

To share yourself with your neighbours and loved-ones brings everyone closer together. It’s nice.

It’s when things get impersonal that I start to feel a bit weird about it. Take today: I had a great conversation with my cousin while we were working on the marinade. The last time we’d spoken was at uncle Jeff’s eating. He went for the full-on cajun-spiced, flash-fry. He was probably terrible for you, but he was so tasty. It was a real treat.

There was a woman who lived near my mother who died. She had no children or relatives. She was isolated, very lonely. It was sad.

Once the pathologist was done bagging and tagging, and the coroner released the body, she was sent in small parcels to the food-banks around the city. I don’t have a problem with this per se, but there’s something lost. It shouldn’t just be about recycling.

It’s like when there was the fire at that nursery. You couldn’t tell one toddler from another, and no one really wants to be eating some stranger’s kid. So they were shipped off to feed prisoners. I get that this is a good thing. I’m probably just being a snob, but I just find it a bit creepy.

I found out recently that my great aunt Maude is dying, and she’s opted to be stir-fried in walnut oil with garlic, chilli and ginger. I hope she hurries up: I love Chinese food.

This text is copyright 2016 by Jon Cronshaw, released under a BY-NC-ND Creative Commons Licence.

Sofia Samatar -How to Get Back to the Forest (2014)

Sofia Samatar‘s short story How to Get Back to the Forest was published in the March 2014 issue of Lightspeed magazine.

How to Get Back to the Forest tells the story of a near future dystopia where children’s lives are mapped-out by the government and their emotions are regulated by implants.

Have you read this story? Get in touch and tell me what you think on Twitter @shortsfreview or by leaving a comment below.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

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Connie Willis – Ado (1988)

Connie Willis‘s short story Ado was first published in the January 1988 issue of Asimov’s magazine. I read this in Willis’s 1993 short story collection Impossible Things.

Ado is a satirical cautionary tale about an English Literature teacher attempting to teach Shakespeare in a world where sensitivity to offence is taken to its logical extreme.

The themes of this story are so closely tied to its narrative that I found it impossible to talk about it any meaningful way without being spoilterific. So if you haven’t read the story, I’d recommend reading it prior to listening to the review.

Have you read it? What did you think? Let me know.

You can follow the Short Science Fiction Review on Twitter @ShortSFReview.

You can subscribe to the Short Science Fiction Review on iTunes HERE.

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