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“No one can doubt that the wave of the future is not the conuest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men No one can doubt that cooperation in the pursuit of knowledge must lead to freedom of the mind and freedom of the soul”—President John F Kennedy from a speech at University of California March 23 1962In a world gone wrong heroes and villains are not always easy to distinguish Here is a collection of stunning original and rediscovered stories of hope and tragedy that pit students street kids “good girls” kidnappers and child laborers against their environments their governments and sometimes themselves as they seek answers in their dystopian worlds Take a journey through time from a nuclear nightmare of the past to society’s far future in the stars with these eleven stories by masters of speculative fictionThe editors of this volume are setting aside a portion of the proceeds to benefit the Octavia E Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund which enables writers of color to attend a Clarion writing workshop where legendary Octavia Butler got her start

10 thoughts on “Diverse Energies

  1. says:

    3 12 starsI like the idea of this anthology way that I liked the anthology itself This world is by no means populated by a white majority so I think it’s ridiculous that so much of young adult literature is One of the main things that can make me interested in reading a YA fantasy these days is a non western setting perhaps because I’ve read so much western centric YA I was really looking forward to reading this anthology but after finishing it I found it to be mostly forgettable However there were a few really bright spots Here's the run down listed from lowest rating to highest“Freshee’s Frogurt” by Daniel H Wilson 15 stars What the heck is this even doing in the collection? All of the main action and story is told by a white guy I feel like this snuck in on a technicality whether that technicality is the Native American character or the fact that Daniel H Wilson’s Robopocalypse is being made by Steven Spielberg I am not sure This story is all mindless action with no substance“The Last Day” by Ellen Oh 35 stars “Blue Skies” by Cindy Pon 3 stars and “Gods of Dimming Light” by Greg Van Eekhout 3 stars were all sorta interesting but ultimately very forgettable I am having a hard time remembering anything but the vaguest of details right now“Uncertainty Principle” by K Tempest Bradford 3 stars The beginning of this really caught my interest but then it just unraveled It felt like she had a great idea for a full length novel but then decided to cram it all into a short story The second half felt completely rushed and as a result most of the tension built during the first half was lost“Next Door” by Rahul Kanakia 35 stars This one stuck out to me because I thought the world was a really interesting idea – a place where everyone is so plugged in and oblivious that they don’t even “see” the hundreds of their fellow humans suatting in their own homesgarages It’s like human apathy to an extreme degree However the story itself did almost nothing for me“What Arms to Hold” by Rajan Khanna 35 stars This is another one that I mostly liked It also has a very interesting premise – very reminiscent of Ender’s Game I also really liked the ending – it was pretty dark stuff I’d like to read from this author“A Pocket Full of Dharma” by Paolo Bacigalupi 35 stars This was the second time I’ve read this one and I liked it less the second time A very well developed world that is very authentically non western with a sympathetic main character but it didn’t really wow me It’s a stand out in this collection though“Pattern Recognition” by Ken Liu 4 stars This was one of my favorites I loved Liu’s tie in of real world child labor and it was a nicely contained story that felt complete and very well executed“Good Girl” by Malinda Lo 4 stars Dear girls of YA please stop falling for the first jerk who treats you like crap Even if she’s a girl it’s still not sexy That being said this was actually one of my favorites of the collection It felt like an intense snapshot of the life of a girl I could completely relate to and I thought it had a great ending Maybe I didn’t uite like that Lo’s “good girl” main character would fall for the bad girl jerk but it did feel authentic to the character that she would want to rebel a bit and the relationship was painted realistically without any rosy romantic artificiality This was one where I wished for “Solitude” by Ursula K Le Guin 45 stars Probably my favorite in the collection although it’s a re print Ursula Le Guin isn’t afraid to dive headlong into a completely foreign culture and fully commit herself to its point of view Here we follow a young girl who’s relocated to a very tribal planet by her anthropologist mother and raised within its customs as a sort of experiment However when the time comes for her family to relocate back to their homeland she finds that she can’t bear to part with her childhood home A very interesting look at cultural perceptions and the things that shape usAlso seen at The Readventurer

  2. says:

    An anthology of dystopian YA short stories with a focus on diversity ie most of the protagonists are not whiteAs a whole this anthology is not much like most current YA dystopian novels which are generally about naïve privileged white girls slowly coming to realize that their “the government controls everything” society actually sucks while navigating a love triangle The characters in this anthology are often aware from the get go that everything sucks and the central problem is generally not an over controlling government but a devastated environment poverty and the haves grinding the have nots beneath their feetThe result is realistic and less paper thin but also uite depressing Few of these teenagers are trying to save their world but only to scratch out a few days for themselves and their loved ones in a world which is clearly already doomed With two possible exceptions no one makes any difference at all to anyone beyond themselves or a handful of people in their immediate surroundings I say “possible” because there are two stories in which characters make an effort but the story ends before we learn whether or not they succeed in terms of the larger pictureSure it wouldn’t be realistic for teenagers to save the world singlehandedly but I don’t read science fiction for realism Also in real life people do make large changes collectively A few stories in which the protagonist is part of a larger effort to save or even improve the world would have been nice There is one story in which that's the case Tempest Bradford'sI did really like some of the stories But I would recommend reading a story or two here and there as you feel like it If you read the entire anthology from start to finish the grimdark is overwhelming“The Last Day” by Ellen Oh An alternate history of WWII set in Japan comes out extremely similar to real history so far as the main characters are concerned Maybe the point was that the things change the they stay the same Otherwise it’s a straightforward “war is bad and children suffer horribly” story all the way down to its awesomely depressing conclusion If you’re disturbed by graphic atom bomb scenes I am this might be one to skip I would not have selected this as the story to open the anthology – it’s the darkest in the whole batch and that's saying a lot“Freshee’s Frogurt” by Daniel H Wilson Oral history of robots run amuck much along the lines of World War Z A robot attacks two employees in a frozen yogurt shop and there’s a bloody battle That’s it This was an excerpt from the novel Robopocalypse which may explain how slight and unfinished it felt but on the other hand it didn’t leave me wanting On the positive side it’s only depressing in the sense that its space could have been given to a better story In fact it’s probably supposed to be funny in a hipster ironic mode I did not find it funny“Uncertainty Principle” by K Tempest Bradford A young girl notices reality shifting around her but nobody else does Over the years the President changes wars break out and are erased from time and her best friend vanishes as if she had never existed This extremely intense and existentially horrifying set up turns into a standard action based science fiction story about halfway through The whole thing is well written but I liked the first half much It probably needed to be longer to give the second half the same emotional weight as the first This one is bittersweet than depressing“Pattern Recognition” by Ken Liu Kids in an orphanage are told that they’ve been rescued from a hellish world outside and are made to play video games all day Very good prose; plausible but predictable story There’s a really jarring confusing transition right before the climax possibly exacerbated by the poor formatting of the version I read an e book via Netgalley Moderately depressing“Gods of Dimming Light” by Greg van Eekhout Alone among the stories this is fantasy not science fiction and so reads oddly than it probably would have in a fantasy geared anthology In a doomed and dying world a boy of Indonesian descent finds a connection to the other side of his heritage – his descent from Odin The ancient Norse theme of the brave fight against inevitable doom meshes powerfully with the modern apocalyptic settingThis was one of my favorites mostly because of the ending view spoilerThe kid turns his back on the good fight as the Valkyrie explains it to him fighting gloriously in a war his side is doomed to lose He goes back to his family to eke out his money to feed them and keep the lights on until the last darkness descends – different details but still a heroic battle against inevitable doom a uiet little Ragnarok hide spoiler

  3. says:

    To act as though we have hope is to keep hope alive Rep non white characters wlw and mlm charactersThe problem I have with rating anthologies by various authors is that I never know how to rate the thing overall Like do I average the ratings? Do I give it an overall rating based on my enjoyment of it as a whole? Who knowsIn the end I guess the three star rating is a bit of both It's not the greatest anthology I've ever read unfortunately although I don't think I've read any where I've loved all the stories at least for this one the ratings never went below three stars but it was refreshing in its diversity even if the writing wasn't always the best uality Also the stories were incredibly darkThe Last Day Ellen Oh 3 starsAn alternate post WWII story that I can't remember all that much about It was a good idea and I would have liked to have read about the characters but the writing was kind of lacking and a little simplistic at timesFreshee's Frogurt Daniel H Wilson 5 starsI am happy to admit I am entirely biased when it comes to Daniel H Wilson He writes the best robots take over the world fiction I've read ever So obviously I loved this story just as much even if it was too shortUncertainty Principle K Tempest Bradford 3 starsNot gonna lie I don't remember a lot of this one so I'm having to look at other people's reviews It was again a good idea though it reminded me a lot of Time Riders with maybe less good writingPattern Recognition Ken Liu 3 starsThis one could easily have been a full length story and perhaps would have worked better that way It definitely feels a bit rushed when it was explained they found the phone and could immediately work out how to use it to contact the outside world without having seen a phone before and get in touch with reporters who also believed them straightaway For sure could have benefited from being longerGods of the Dimming Light Greg Van Eekhout 3 starsThis one was kind of trippy I gotta say I mean valkyries and Norse Gods and a battle to reach Valhalla all set within a dystopian city Uh OK?Next Door Rahul Kanakia 3 starsThis was strange And a definite downer I mean the two gay main characters at the end die Or at least I assume they do because they inhale some toxic gas but it's left on a bit of a uestion markGood Girl Malinda Lo 3 starsGirls Kissing Thank you Malinda Lo It was cute though the love was kind of rushed again short story problems and it wasn't really clear why the government had decided to ban interracial marriageA Pocket Full of Dharma Paolo Bacigalupi 4 starsI really liked Paolo Bacigalupi's full length book so I might have been slightly biased towards this one All the politics of who wanted the Dalai Lama in that USB box thing don't ask just read it was kind of confusing but it was an interesting conceptBlue Skies Cindy Pon 3 starsIt had a pretty abrupt ending to be honest and I didn't really get much of the guy's motivations for kidnapping the girl beyond getting the moneyWhat Arms to Hold Rajan Khanna 3 starsAgain another one that could have benefited from being a full length novel It had an interesting idea but it felt rushed inevitably I did like that it ended with the MC leaving on his own without helping anyone else though because that was differentSolitude Ursula K LeGuin 3 starsIn a book full of dystopia stories this one about aliens and sociologist aliens is a little odd to say the least It was well written and intriguing but it didn't fit the anthology as a whole The idea of the alien society was pretty good though even if it did read like an anthropologist's report which I guess was the aim

  4. says:

    This is a great idea for a YA anthology A collection of dystopian stories featuring a culturally diverse range of characters reflecting the real world in which we live I'm not usually a fan of short stories since I tend to think that most of the good ones would be better explored in a full length format but this collection is of higher uality than most There's a good sense of momentum to the book and some really uniue and exciting ideas behind each story so for once I didn't get that dragging sensation halfway through As always there were some stories I enjoyed than others but the highs definitely outweigh the lows Some of the clear highlights were Solitude by Ursula K Le Guin Just an astonishingly beautiful and deeply layered story about cultural relativity that's a perfect example of the way different cultures struggle to see through each others' eyes The Last Day by Ellen Oh The first story in the collection this one packs a punch What if Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn't put a stop to WW2? Dystopia Children Atomic Bombs Gutwrenching Pattern Recognition by Ken Liu What's terrifying about this story is that it is somewhat based on realities that currently exist child slavery and human based computation Next Door by Rahul Kanakia A really interesting tech based dystopia in which the haves are so tuned out to reality they are barely aware of the have nots suatting in their private spaceThere truly are only a couple of low points to the book Freshee's Frogurt by Daniel H Wilson Everything I've seen about the novel Robopocalypse has given me the strong sense that I won't like the writing and this excerpt just confirms that theory Also a culturally diverse story needs to contain than a sidekick with a Fu Manchu 'stache called Felipe Not cool not well written and it doesn't really belong hereThere are a couple of stories that aren't bad but the plot just gets away from the writer a little I think K Tempest Bradford was off to a good start with Uncertainty Principle but the temporal mechanics got a bit convoluted towards the end Likewise Greg Van Eekhout's Gods of the Dimming Light started out interestingly but the logic didn't uite seem clear and at the end of the day it didn't really have a lot to sayA minor disappointment to me was Paolo Bacigalupi's A Pocket Full of Dharma I have heard great things about The Wind Up Girl and was looking forward to reading this story It begins with a description of an astonishing thing a bio engineered building of living flesh I would have loved to explore that idea some but the building ends up being a minor part of the story to the extent that the author doesn't even tell us what colour it is Such a waste of a great ideaThe Foreword by Tobias S Buckell seems to somewhat undermine the intent of the anthology As the Afterword by Joe Monti explains really well the intent is not to be a reaction to the stupidity of recent white washing in YA sci fi It is supposed to be a reflection of reality as it is and will be not a brick thrown through a window it is the continued paving of a path Buckell's Foreword talks about the book being a reaction to the Hunger Games racial backlash and talks about putting people of colour front and centre etc etc It just reads a little childishly to me and misses the point that diversity is about culture and perspective so than skin colour or raceThis is certainly one of the better anthologies that I've come across The stories themselves are diverse crossing a huge range of topics neuroscience anthropology space Norse mythology robots biotech gender issues history war family religion etc etc There's bound to be something there to inspire everyone It's a thought provoking collection that's definitely worth a read Full disclosure I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley

  5. says:

    Passing grade for a YA SF collection It's hard to assign a discrete rating but this was a better book than I expectedAt least 3 memorable stories and no complete stinkers The last story is by Ursula K Le Guin

  6. says:

    This was a fun sci fiurban fantasyfiction anthology that had a heavy focus on POC and LGBT characters Overall I really liked the anthology and I would recommend this book to others who are looking to foray into diverse fiction “The Last Day” by Ellen OhA dark story set in a world where there is an endless war of East vs West which despite my terrible one sentence description was actually uite good An interesting idea that I hadn't really read before“Freshee’s Frogurt” by Daniel H WilsonNot really my favourite short story I felt that this idea of tame robot goes crazy was not super innovative “Uncertainty Principle” by K Tempest Bradford A very fun take on time travel After looking up the author turns out she's a HUGE Dr Who fan and it shows in her short story“Pattern Recognition” by Ken LiuI thought that this idea was ok not my favourite but not my least favourite It is possible that I don't like Ken Liu's genre of scifi“Gods of the Dimming Light” by Greg van EekhoutThis book apparently links to van Eekhout's other work called NorseCODE It's an interesting idea but perhaps not the most well written“Next Door” by Rahul KanakiaI think this story was uite original “Good Girl” by Malinda LoReally liked it This story is set in a world where racial purity is really important and people of mixed race descent like Kyle are discriminated against Another interesting idea that was well executed“A Pocket Full of Dharma” by Paolo BacigalupiNot as interesting as I hoped it would be considering how much I love Paolo Bacigalupi's work Perhaps if he had written it as a longer story it would have worked better“Blue Skies” by Cindy PonI really liked this take on rich vs poor in a dystopian universe One of my favourites from this collection I think the novel WANT is set in this world so I will check it out“What Arms to Hold Us” by Rajan KhannaFound this one to be one of my least favourite maybe needed a much longer story to be able to flesh it out “Solitude” by Ursula Le GuinI've previously read Le Guin's work The Wizard of Earthsea and was not really drawn in by it However I really liked this short story It tells the story of a girl who grows up on an alien planet whose ethnologist mother wanted to learn about the new planets culture The girl feels so at home with this new planet that she doesn't want to leave A very interesting idea

  7. says:

    This was a difficult anthology to get through The premise is amazing stories representing the diversity of youth different races different sexualities as they navigate their worlds borne out of speculative imagination If only those speculative imaginations weren't so tied to such dystopic worlds The tagline on the cover states The future is here Are you ready? The future is here and it is apparently grim as fuck Terrible things keep happening Terrible worlds roll and take their terrible toll Story after story of desperation of resistance of anger and sadness and tragedy Glimmers of hope Is this really what the vision of the future we have to offer young adults? I find this troubling; if this was an anthology for the generic read white YA audience sure okay white youths turn to dystopia because they see their world becoming that But for youths of color especially ueer youths these are already their lives What are the answers that we are imagining here? Because story after story I don't see solutions I see sacrifices I don't see collaboration; I see compromises I don't see commitment; I see sad negotiations ueer youths in desperate circumstances okay great they don't die They survive the story So they now have new narratives of ueer unhappiness wheee Most of the stories aren't narratives of uncertainty they are narratives of despair and pain with promise of pain The bits of hope are so slight you have to suint to find them Great Let the white youths read against the grain to find them so they don't exoticize POC suffering But what about POC YA readers who have known from the start that hope is a necessity not a luxury? Why must we have them read against the grain for hope? Why can't it be right there in the text? It's frustrating to see further depictions of Asian countries as sites of speculative despair The Last Day A Pocket Full of Dharma Blue Skies I'm less annoyed when it's set in America because guess what most of the anthology's readers are probably American and you should know what direction your country is going towards anyway but it's still depressing Pattern Recognition Gods of the Dimming Light Next Door Good Girl And who the fuck let Paolo Bacigalupi write something for this? Why when this volume followed WINDUP GIRL so soon? The other problem which is obvious with the techno Orientalist stories for me than with the American ones is that not only is the future grim as fuck but it is also ahistorical detached from existing resistance work This is not a new problem but glaring nonetheless from an anthology that purports to represent youth from communities of color A tie to continuing histories of resistance would possibly have created hopeful narratives rather than these worlds where the problems are unprecedented creating solutions that are negotiable only through sheer survival and desperate measures This raises the uestion of what it means to be empowered especially as a youth in a world where the world in real life is stacked against young people who are neither heirs to capital nor given the opportunity to accumulate said capital Practically all but one or two of the main characters are from a class that is clearly economically marginalized They demonstrate resistance in many ways in the Last Day resistance is demonstrated through a last stand and sacrifice; sacrifice is also resistance in Gods of the Dimming Light and Next Door But resistance should not be confused for empowerment which is not the same as agency either; in Uncertainty Principles and Pattern Recognition the characters are left at the edges of community uncertain of their future and over unable to control it to make their world a better place If every individual has the ability to contribute something powerful as the dust jacket claims what exactly is this power and how far can it take a single protagonist? And this brings to the final uibble with the project which is entitled Diverse Energies Yes the protagonists are predominantly of color many clearly non white Diversity means an interaction of differences which is reflected in perhaps one or two stories such as the interracial ueer romances in Good Girl and Next Door yet these interaction either ignores differences could be good or bad and I'm meh here because I recognize that characterization shouldn't be tied to culture but then again when it's acultural what is the point but maybe it works for someone else or posit difference as a source of anguish that is never resolved positively Our protagonists don't have communities; they are inevitably alone In Blue Skies the protagonist has bargained for some economic advancement but it is an individual moment and the one connection he develops over the course of the story is given up It's not diversity if you only have singularsUrsula Le Guin's Solitude perhaps is the one exception to my criticisms as an exploration of a completely different world that has developed a life philosophy and society that is crafted specifically to avoid problems of oppression It is not human but it creates functioning social relations which is the argument of the protagonist against her mother's assertion that the society are comprised of atomized individuals who fail at humanemotional connection It is interestingly far of a success in delicately delineating the philosophies of Buddhist self awareness selflessness and detachment which A Pocket Full of Dharma doesn't even engage with leaving us with a ham handed rumination on the process of reincarnation instead I understand that this anthology comes out of a period during which YA dystopias were popular and of course young adult audiences can handle grim when it is true to their experiences The short story format being what it is it's hard to contain solutions to epic problems in small bites And yet and yet and yet and yet what is the use of being adults writing for young adults with no wisdom to impart? With no torch to pass? This is the fucked up shit my generation has dreamed up for your generation to fix good luckUltimately this was not the YA diversity anthology I was hoping for and I hope that actual young adults enjoyed this when I could not

  8. says:

    Loved this collectionThe short stories are varied in subject matter length and style A thought provoking read and well worth while I would definitely recommend

  9. says:

    A dark collection of dystopian short stories with diverse settings characters one I loved The Last Day Ellen Oh What a way to start off this collection of short stories This dystopian society is damn dreary and depressing kind of the tone of the entire collection It's an alternate history of WWII set in Japan The World has been divided into 2 super powers The President of the West and The Emperor of the East and they are at war Nobody is winning and The Emperor has resorted to forcibly drafting kids as young as 12Freshee's Frogurt Daniel H Wilson This story seemed out of place lacking both diversity and a strong dystopian society In it a convenience store clerk tells a detective how he ended up in the hospital thanks to a malfunctioning domestic robot apparently the first of many incidents This is an exerpt from RobopocalypseUncertainty Principle K Tempest Bradford Excellent story that left me hoping this gets turned into a full length novel A teenager Iliana experiences 'temporal shifts' where she experiences something that causes a change in the World but nobody else sees it Pattern Recognition Ken Liu Kids in an orphanage are told that they've been rescued from a hellish world outside and are made to play video games all day But only later do the children find out the truth Gripping and I liked the emotional conflict at the end are they being used and abused or are they better off because they have been removed from their damaged environments?Gods of the Dimming Light Greg van Eekhout This story felt woefully short and a bit contrived to me and it wasn't one of my favorites Edward a teenager decided to participate in a research study for some money but it's not what he thinksNext Door Rahul Kanakia The rich in this society have the technology to live in a virtual world ignoring the poor destitute filthiness of their society This story follows a boy and his boyfriend as they try to find the perfect ie non bug infested location for their next suat But it doesn't look good for them at the end This is my favorite dark dystopian society featured in the book not my favorite story though as I thought it a bit rambling at timesGood Girl Malinda Lo One of my favorite stories In this society racial purity is celebrated and if you have the features of a mixed race it makes you an outcast Kyle is searching for her brother who vanished a few months before Her search leads her to Nix who lives under ground and claims to have information on where he wentA Pocket Full of Dharma Paolo Bacigalupi The soul of the Dalai Lama has been placed in a computer program up for sale to the highest bidder and it winds up in the hands of a beggar I don't know what to think of this story it was well told but lacked a dBlue Skies Cindy Pon In an environmentally devastated future Taiwan a boy kidnaps a rich girl for ransom I loved the build up but the ending left me flat Would have loved to have seen a little about the Stockholm Syndrome that the rich girl seemed to have been developingWhat Arms to Hold Us Rajan Khanna Indian children are slave labor in a mine where their bodies are linked to a robot used for the actual physical labor but it wears the kids down uickly A bit predictable as to what is going to happen but still an interesting story Also liked that the author left it up to us to figure out if the good guy is actually good or if the bad guy is badSolitude Ursula Le Guin This is the one story in the collection where the World is both a utopia for one person and a dystopia for another It's a perfect example of the way different cultures struggle to see through each others' eyes An anthropologist goes to a planet with her two young children to study the ways of a culture that seems to have no community The mother and older son learn a lot about the culture; the young daughter becomes part of it

  10. says:

    I was grabbed by the mention of three of these authors who have either written books I enjoyed or have written books I hope to read soon those three being Ellen Oh Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon Its stated intention is to provide diversity in our YA fiction whether race gender culture sexual orientation etc These stories mix dystopia science fiction and fantasy Like many short story collections it's a definite mixed bag with some stories working well for me and some not clicking with meThe Last Day by Ellen Oh what a powerful story and a great way to start the collection Atomic non stop war between the President of the West and the Emperor of the West with nowhere safe for the peopleFreshee's Frogurt by Daniel H Wilson Interesting story about robots going berserk and attacking humans; warning about language Not one of my favorites as it's very short and just focusing on this one battleUncertainty Principle by K Tempest Bradford was really interesting and played with time one of my favorite concepts A young girl keeps having time shifted around her with no one else noticing until the day she uploads all the times it has happened and she is contacted by others to do something about itPattern Recognition by Ken Liu I really loved this story although there was an awkward shift at the end hopefully due to the fact that this is an ebook I wasn't really sure where it was going but I loved the main characters It made me think of Ender's Game a little bit which is a good thing as that's one of my favorite booksGods of Dimming Light by Greg van Eekhout I didn't really like this one; it felt a bit on the violent side featuring a young Indonesian boy discovering a Norse connectionNext Door by Rahul Kanakia This was very weird to me there are haves and have nots the former don't even notice the latter being so plugged into their technology and I didn't uite understand that even as I know people are always talking about how technology is isolating us but I could not imagine not noticing other people in the way that the haves do hereGood Girl by Malinda Lo did I mention that all of these stories are pretty uniformly depressing? This was definitely one of those with our main character searching the underworld for her brother meeting a love interest and confronting the grim reality of her worldA Pocket Full of Dharma by Paolo Bacigalupi I didn't really know what to make of this story about a boy on the streets and trying to survive among conniving adults in a bleak world What's in his pocket? It's not a ring of power for oneBlue Skies by Cindy Pon I thought this was another really good story especially because it seemed a little lighter and it had a hint of romance Although such romance is impossible in the world I liked the little hit withinWhat Arms to Hold by Rajan Khanna Indian children labor in a mine searching for a big prize that will ensure their promotion to a better jobguess what? That's not exactly the case as is so heartbreakingly shown hereSolitude by Ursula K Le Guin I'm not really sure I got this story which was one of the longest included It's about a woman who uses her son and daughter to explore and study a foreign culture on another planet