LGBTQ+ Category: Gay, Lesbian
Reviewer: Beáta, Ulysses
About The Book
“Today I swam through MOMA. Leon says it was a waste, encasing the art, then flooding the museum—frivolous and elitist. I say it was a gesture of optimism, a triumph of technology and political will.”
Want to thrill to the possibilities of a hopeful future? We asked a bunch of sci-fi writers to spin tales of a better future, imagining ways in which the world might become a better place.
From a swim through an underwater museum to a joyous dance at a futuristic concert, from the eco-friendly aftermath of an alien invasion and retreat to the refurbishing of an old climate-ravaged home in New Vancouver, these fourteen short sci-fi stories will to restore your faith in the future.
A world transformed is a world we can all hope for.
Book three in the Writers Save the World short story anthologies. If you enjoy this book, check out Fix the World and Save the World.
After Fix the World in 2021 and Save the World in 2022, 2023 saw the anthology Transform the World. Like its predecessors, it is a collection of short stories about a hopeful future, this time with a focus on how a previously world can be transformed to make it better.
The stories are mostly, but not all based on our current world. So while, for example, Immersion deals with a New York being slowly submerged due to climate change, A Profession of Hope sees humanity rebuild after an alien occupation. The focus of the stories also differs. Good Job, Robin deals with environmental grief and the difficulties of finding the mental force to stay alive, Reanimation with religion and We Got the Beat with teenagers being teenagers.
Most of these stories are calm, personal and introspective, focusing more on the characters and their inner lives, but then there is also Tinker’s Well, which is much more action-packed and features people dealing with the disastrous consequences of a collapsed building.
Like with any anthology, some of these stories will be more of a hit or a miss than others, possibly for reasons that are very personal. I, for example, got seriously stuck during Reanimation, because apparently I have stronger feelings about religion and its place in the world than I thought.
The vast majority of the other stories I found really charming and enjoyed reading, but they didn’t stay too much with me after finishing them. The two notable exceptions are Tinker’s Well, where I just loved the worldbuilding, and A Profession of Hope, as I already knew those characters from The Homestead at the Beginning of the World, which I read back in Fix the World.
All in all, I really appreciate that these anthologies exist. They are less about offering any concrete solutions to our current problems, and more about training the brain to accept the idea of a hopeful future as a concept.
I also believe that short story anthologies are an important, though often neglected, part of any person’s reading diet. I definitely wouldn’t mind having more collections like this one, and sincerely hope that the editor keeps up this tradition of putting them together every year, for many years to come.
Beáta Fülöp is an aspiring filmmaker and writer. She identifies as aromantic and asexual, and has an autistic Special Interest in the representation of minorities. One day, she will use this knowledge in her own stories. Until then, she is happy to sit here and give her opinion on other people’s hard work.