Dystopian February: Brave New Worlds, Edited by John Joseph Adams

Leave it to dystopian novels to get me blogging again. These past five or so months have been filled mostly with school work and actual work, leaving me little time to read let alone blog. Still, I'm eager to get back on the horse, even if it is just for my week of winter break.

Dystopian February is going on over at Presenting Lenore, much like it's twin Dystopian August had, and I have a few books that I'm making my way through to review. The first is actually a short story from the anthology Brave New Worlds, edited by John Joseph Adams, titled "Evidence of Love in a Case of Abandonment: One Daughter's Personal Account" by M. Rickert. The story, Rickert said, "was meant to take a sort of sideways look at what has already happened to women in countries where their freedom is denied."

Lisle lives in America in an unknown future where women's reproductive rights have been relinquished and having an abortion is punishable by death. Women are rounded up an executed both in public and on television; a form of entertainment that Lisle cannot imagine a life without. Lisle takes two forms in the story, one of a girl despises her mother for being absent in her life, having run away for some unknown fate, the other a product of her society that is relieved at the sight of women that they see as murderers being killed.

Reproductive restriction dystopias are a guilty pleasure of mine, and I loved the fact that Lisle's adoration for her country's practices was back-dropped against the absence of her mother, a woman who clearly, through flashbacks, demonstrated beliefs more closely to those in our own society. Most dystopias published nowadays are those with characters that decide to either fight or escape the system, but you can't always do that in that kind of society.

The anthology contains more stories by authors like Paolo Bacigalupi, Orson Scott Card, and Ray Bradbury, and includes a copy of "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. It appears to be no longer in print, but if you can pick up a copy at your local library or used bookstore I highly recommend doing so.


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