One Giant Leap for a Writer?

Who doesn't love a good robot story?  I wonder if anyone else remembers those yellow-jacketed Gollancz editions of Asimov's short stories?  I used to borrow piles of them from the school library along with my Chalet School and Sweet Valley High books (I was always an eclectic reader).  So when I saw the call for short stories for Darkhouse Books' anthology of science fiction stories based on the future imagined at the 1939 World's Fair, I knew I had to have a go.  The result was 'The Robot who Smoked', my homage to 'I, Robot', 'AI' and all the other robot stories that have made me think hard about what it means to be human. 

Originally I thought the anthology was coming out in June, so I've been twitching with impatience since then to see the other stories.  (Believe me, those I've read so far were worth the wait).  Editor Andrew MacRae has been a pleasure to deal with, and has finally picked the best possible launch date for our leap into a hypothetical future: the 45th anniversary of the moon landing. I'm delighted because I like to imagine that being a writer is like being an astronaut: constantly pushing new boundaries to explore places you've never been before.  

This anthology certainly takes its readers to some dramatic places.   My favourite so far is Wenda Morrone's dark, beautiful story 'The King Contest', which takes the reader to a future in which radiation poisoning is destroying humanity's ability to reproduce, leaving the King and his cloned First Minister with some difficult choices.  With a troubled teenager at its heart, this short story gives The Hunger Games a run for its money.  And that's my favourite only from the first three stories, so I can't wait to see what the rest of the book has in store.  If you're curious too, buy links are below for US and UK readers. paperback and kindle paperback and kindle


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