Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘Welcome to Dystopia’

“A perfect book to have on your commuter ride home… With luck, you’ll survive to tell about it” — WELCOME TO DYSTOPIA reviewed by CounterPunch

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020
In Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead, edited by Gordon Van Gelder, a thought-locust plague of what-if scenarios is released from the tortured imaginations of Lefty sci-fi writers sharing one unified vision: What if Trump doesn’t leave in November?

Read the review here.

UPCOMING WEBINAR: “Science Fiction and the Milford Connection” — with WELCOME TO DYSTOPIA editor Gordon Van Gelder and Samuel R. Delaney

Friday, August 14th, 2020
Sep 13, 2020 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

More details here.

SANCTUARY by Brian Francis Slattery from WELCOME TO DYSTOPIA

Thursday, July 9th, 2020


Brian Francis Slattery



Dear Mari,

First: Jess, Efraín, Pete, Lucretia, Carlos, and Serena are all dead. I haven’t found Mya, Hugh, Will, Beth, Dolores, Tom, or Anabel yet, but I think they’re dead, too. I’m so sorry.

We were on stage when the first bomb went off. It was down the street and we were playing too loud to hear it. Efraín and Jess were playing so well, better than ever. You should have heard them. Efraín was breaking in a new kit. Jess had the same shitty guitar she’s always had, the one she’s made sound great. It was a big night, crowded from the stage to the back door. I remember someone screaming from the back. Then the second bomb went off, right outside.

There was a flash and the windows blew in, and the flames shot in right after them. The people near the windows were shredded and set on fire. The whole building shook and the ceiling above the bar collapsed. The power went out and the room filled with smoke. I grabbed Jess’s hand—I was standing next to her—and started to drag her toward the front door. You know it’s only five feet from the edge of the stage, but somehow in those five feet I lost her. I spilled out on the street with a pile of people. My bass was still strapped to me, but the neck had snapped. There was a scrap of bloody cloth hanging from the broken place. Maybe a dozen other people were on the street with me. We scrambled away from the heat and waited. No one else came out.

I read somewhere that there are people who don’t panic, and I guess I’m one of them. I watched Eight State burn. It scares me now what I felt then. I wish I could say I cried, or that all my sadness turned to rage. Instead I felt my blood pressure drop. The sound in the world got a little quieter. I looked down the street and saw a row of fires, bomb after bomb. I heard tires screeching and machine gun fire, and I knew—just knew—that there was nothing I could do for anyone at Eight State, and half my friends had been in there. But maybe if I got to Temple in time, I could save the other half.

You know on the news they said it was a paramilitary outfit. I say it was a bunch of assholes who decided to get a lot of guns, make a lot of bombs, buy up some Army surplus vehicles and make their own uniforms. The news said they came at our city because we said we were a sanctuary, because our mayor spoke out, because we marched. They said they did it in the name of law and order. But I didn’t see any order that night. I saw burning buildings, shat­tered glass, flames, and rising smoke. I heard people screaming and shooting, shooting that wouldn’t stop. I heard sirens everywhere. Police cruisers racing from block to block. An ambulance on its side, on fire, in an intersection. And body after body, ruined and run over, or smoldering, or just full of holes. The couple the police captured said they just attacked wherever the people were. It was a Friday night, so that meant clubs and restaurants, downtown streets. It meant us.

Everyone was on the street in front of Temple. They hadn’t hit the place yet. I found Jacob there. He still had his guitar. We stood there and wondered what we were supposed to do. Nowhere felt safe.

Then we all saw it, a tan Humvee barreling down the street toward us. It ran over a dozen people and looked like it would plow through the rest of us, except that another car, racing in from a side street, crashed into it and knocked it on its side. 

This is our city. You understand what it’s like. As soon as the Humvee stopped, we were all over it. We got two of the tires off. They’d locked the doors, so we broke the glass, dragged three of those motherfuckers out, and threw them in the street. They got shoved around a lot. One of them shouted at all of us: We’re the New Patriotic Army of the East and we are coming for you. 

[to be continued in the book]

“Dystopia is already here, and we are living in it.” —Salik Shah on GORDON VAN GELDER’s book, WELCOME TO DYSTOPIA: 45 VISIONS OF WHAT LIES AHEAD for Strange Horizon Magazine

Friday, March 8th, 2019

Salik Shah reviewing Gordon Van Gelder’s book Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead in Strange Horizon Magazine

Welcome to Dystopia, edited by Gordon Van Gelder, is a collection of forty-five short stories set in the near future. Subtitled “45 Visions of What Lies Ahead,” the anthology offers contrasting snippets and frightening scenarios of the kind of life we might find ourselves living tomorrow. Indeed, while reading these stories, the reader gets the feeling that they are not so far-fetched visions of what might be: the dystopia is already here, and we are living in it.

I don’t intend to review every story in the collection. Instead, I will attempt to introduce you to the stories that struck these chords with me, and have stayed with me even after several weeks.

If you haven’t read these books, perhaps it’s time to do so before they disappear from the mind-database of the world. And in the coming elections, vote wisely. If you don’t, be prepared to register your vagina or what have you at the nearest Registry. It’s compulsory. If you think I’m joking, read Lisa Mason’s story, “Dangerous.” Welcome to Dystopia is a must-read—and may well be worth adding to your own list of books to pass on to the next generation in any such dystopian scenario.

Read the full article here.

“A dystopian machine gun, firing off dozens of shorter glimpses of thoroughly unpleasant variations on the world to come.” WELCOME TO DYSTOPIA reviewed in the San Franciso Book Review

Monday, June 25th, 2018

Ah, there’s nothing like a good dystopia. They imagine how the world could go to hell, then set likable characters loose inside that pessimistic sandbox. That formula has created an army of iconic protagonists, loathsome villains, and worlds that inspire horror…especially when they seem more likely, given current events.


Read the full review here.

“A beautiful, and alarming, book”: HOMELAND SECURITY ATE MY SPEECH reviewed in The Irish Times

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018

One bonus (maybe the only one) of Donald Trump being, ahem, leader of the free world, is the re-invigoration of the American intellectual left of which Ariel Dorfman is an exemplar. Argentinian born, of Eastern European migrant Jewish parents, brought up in Chile, Dorfman was Salvador Allende’s cultural adviser when that democracy was savaged with US “assistance”, with hundreds of thousands of Chileans tortured, “disappeared” and killed.

Read the full review here.

“A worthy anthology”: WELCOME TO DYSTOPIA reviewed in SF Crowsnest

Thursday, April 12th, 2018

Gordon Van Gelder says in his preface to ‘Welcome To Dystopia’ that he wanted lots of short stories for this anthology rather than just a few long ones. He succeeded. There are forty-five tales packed in here and even the most meticulous reviewer isn’t going to cover all of them, though I have read them all. My favourites are listed below in no particular order.

Everyone knows immigrants are the source of all a country’s problems so in the future the crackdown on foreigners, except those needed as cheap labour, will be more severe. The book opens strongly with ‘Sneakers’ by Michael Libling. Two innocent Canadians go south to buy a pair of sneakers, which are cheaper in the United States. Regrettably, things have changed on the border and their situation becomes difficult, even scary. This has a great kick in the tail and may be a warning for those ex-colonials in the savage north. They should have stayed under the rule of good Queen Bess. We Brits would have taken care of them.

Read the full review at here.

“This is a bracing collection of short, sharp shocks, all of which stimulate and some of which stun.” – WELCOME TO DYSTOPIA reviewed in Publishers Weekly

Tuesday, February 27th, 2018

The 45 original stories in this volume achieve their objectives laudably, presenting bleak dystopic near-futures that are firmly rooted in the here and now.

Read the full review here.

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