Science Fiction Anthology
March 13, 2020
While on a mission to mars in the year 2080, a young astronaut encounters a decommissioned robotic Avatar unit, partially buried in the Martian dust.
She poops open the cranial casing to find its central processing chip, still intact. She holds the chip up to her visual display unit to reveal its contents. Within moments, she is flooded with what-seem-to-be “memories” from the life of the avatar.
This is Avatar Inc’s 24th successful mission, as part of an overall campaign to physically retrieve, preserve and archive the memory cards from their most valuable robotic avatar unitis.
They searched the world, and deep into the solar system, to acquire the chips that contain avatar memories spanning the 21st century.
These are those memories.
All stories available to read and download for free at:
SL Haung, Sarah Pinsker, JY Yang, Kelly Robson, Nino Cipri, Jeffrey Ford, K Chess, Indrapamit Das, Robert Reed, Paul McAuley, Julianna Baggot, Ken Liu, Merc, Fenn Wolfmoor, Pat Cadigan, Tom Sweterlitsch, James S.A. Corey, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Johanna Sinisalo, Tade Thompson, Dr. Harry Kloor, Charles Yu, Aliette de Bodard, Julie Novàkovà, and Madeline Ashby
Praise for CURRENT FUTURES: A SCI-FI OCEAN ANTHOLOGY
“Ann VanderMeer’s outstanding Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, is a selection of stories about climate change and the future of our oceans, all by some of the best writers working today...on the XPRIZE’s website, it is as indispensable as anything on this list.” —Jonathan Strahan, Reviews Editor, Locus
“Ann VanderMeer’s Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology is a required-reading, online-only “sci-fi ocean anthology” sponsored by XPRIZE.” —Liza Goren Trombi, Editor-in-Chief, Locus
**In 2020 the most recent anthology from XPRIZE, Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology, was named to the Locus Recommended Reading list of 2019**
**4 Short stories from Current Futures: A Sci-Fi Ocean Anthology were included in the Short Stories section of the Locus Recommended Reading List of 2019**
**About the Editor**
|Photo Content from Ann VanderMeer|
Stacy connected with Ann VanderMeer
Note: This Review contains NO spoilers
Avatars Inc.: A Sci-Fi Anthology is a collection of stories and chapters that span through the twenty-first century. On the surface, this book seems like another simple avatar read, machines in lieu of the human body. There are no wars, no underlying mysteries, or some greater threat to humanity that brings all the chapters together. In Avatar Inc, there is no greater purpose for these avatars besides the betterment of human existence and exploration. Each person piloting an avatar is simply doing their job, getting a set of new legs, but what makes this anthology so meaningful are the experiences each author offers the reader.
Each chapter offers a new experience, a different life, and each narrator a different message. The very first chapter alone starts out strong. This chapter begins with opening a box, like a metaphor for the start of this book. It thrusts the reader into the perspective of a young man in California who wants to take care of his elderly grandmother across the ocean, on another continent, through an avatar. The narrator wants to be a good grandson, but in the end, it changes into so much more; protests, freedom, and the safety of his loved one turn into a message, “Free Hong Kong.” Despite the machinery seeming cold, the stories in Avatar Inc.: A Sci-Fi Anthology are very humane.
Some chapters are a hit or miss in terms of keeping my attention. My favorites included, yes, the first chapter, but also many of the later chapters that describe a dystopian Earth and humanity looking to save it from pollution. One chapter describes a symphony of colors and the gift of sharing experiences, another narrator describes the avatar bodies as wholly theirs by rejecting their human body, and another has an AI avatar with moral values. Whichever chapters I am referring to, I would like others to see for themselves as Avatars Inc.: A Sci-Fi Anthology is a pleasant read.
-ends June 15, 2020
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