Diverse Energies

Diverse Energies

5.0 1
by Tobias S. Buckell, Ursula K. Le Guin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Malinda Lo

View All Available Formats & Editions

A collection of dystopian short stories featuring diverse main characters and by authors of color.  See more details below


A collection of dystopian short stories featuring diverse main characters and by authors of color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Conceived in an effort to more judiciously represent ethnic and cultural diversity in YA fiction, this provocative collection, edited by SF author Buckell and literary agent Monti explores dystopian themes through multiple lenses. Instead of the usual white faces, the stories feature protagonists from a broader spectrum, all doing their best to survive in hostile or frightening settings. While there's not a single misfire in this anthology, particular works stand out. Ellen Oh's "The Last Day" takes place in a world torn apart by a decades-long war, while K. Tempest Bradford's "The Uncertainty Principle" sees time travel constantly altering one girl's surroundings. Malinda Lo's "The Good Girl" is a prickly love story set against the desire for a better life, and Cindy Pon's "Blue Skies" is almost painful in its longing for escape. Not only do these stories feature racially diverse casts, set all over the world or in space, some have gay and lesbian protagonists, giving readers plenty with which to identify. Happy endings are infrequent, but readers will eagerly immerse themselves in each vividly constructed world. Ages 12–up (Nov.)
VOYA - Kevin Beach
This entertaining collection of short fiction focuses on dystopian societies. In these rather depressing tales, the characters deal with pollution, cults, military regimes, nuclear holocausts, abject poverty, killer robots, time travel, nihilism, aliens, and mythical creatures. Most have interrupted endings that call upon the reader to complete the story. Readers cannot help but root for the sympathetic protagonists in each adventure and imagine a successful escape from their hell. The selected stories are diverse in gender and setting, though oddly heavy on Asian countries and characters. Most are set in decaying urban locales. A few of the authors are recognizable to science fiction and young adult readers, such as Ursula K. Le Guin, Daniel H. Wilson, and Paolo Bacigalupi, but all contributors present exciting and thought-provoking adventures. All the scenarios are enjoyable, but with no comic relief, when read straight through, it tends to become a disheartening experience. Teen angst in the future makes for a very popular genre and this well-written collection should prove popular if promoted to the The Hunger Games or Divergent series crowd. There is nothing too rough here for a middle school reader to handle. Ages 11 to 18.
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
This anthology speaks to inevitable jumbling of the world's cultures, frequently using dark dystopian stories. The horror exploded in Nagasaki and Hiroshima during WWII haunts "The Last Day," Ellen Oh's not particularly well written story of human survival and loyalty to friends. In "Freshee's Frogurt," which will appeal to boys, Daniel H. Wilson tells of a police officer questioning a teen who survived an attack by an-out-of-control robot. One of the better stories, "The Uncertainty Principle," by K. Tempest Bradford, is about a girl caught up in a time warp where the world constantly changes around her. In "Pattern Recognition," Ken Liu tells of a boy who discovers the compound he lives in is full of lies. Greg van Eekhout's "Gods of the Dimming Night," is a compelling mix of improbability and mythic intrigue about an Indonesian-American boy who ends up fighting and killing a warrior from Odin's army. "Next Door," by Rahul Kanakia, pits "squatters" against property owners. Malinda Lo's "Good Girl," looking for her brother in the tunnels where non-purebloods live, falls in love with a mutt girl and finally realizes her brother is dead. "A Pocket Full of Dharma" is all the protagonist of Paolo Bacigalupi's story wants but instead ends up with a data cube containing the conscience of the nineteenth Dali Lama in his pocket. Kidnapping a privileged Taiwanese girl not only nets Cindy Pon's protagonist lots of money, but also creates a longing in the girl to see "Blue Sky." "What Arms to Hold Us," by Rajan Khanna, has the main character driving his robot to freedom. Finding one's place in the universe is the well-written theme of Ursula K. Le Guin's "Solitude." The stories do offer love, hope and family obligation, but enough with the dystopia. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—A variety of characters populates the well-written, future-set short stories in this aptly named anthology. Protagonists represent different ages, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. They all exist in unique, fully dimensional, and bleak worlds that are populated by children held in slavery, street people, the underprivileged, time travelers, and heroes who courageously fight to improve humanity's plight. The thread that binds these selections is the bravery of the main characters. Whether facing governmental, societal, or individual corruption, the protagonists find their own way to rise above it. Malinda Lo's "Good Girl" is a particularly engaging tale about an obedient daughter whose search for her missing brother leads her to an underground world that reveals some startling truths about her identity and the government. Daniel H. Wilson's "Freshee's Frogurt" stands out with its distinctive format; it's written as an interview conducted by a police officer investigating a robot-gone-rogue case. Each story entertains and provides the opportunity for underrepresented readers to find themselves on the pages. Contributors range from newly published authors to award winners, such as Ursula K. Le Guin and Cindy Pon. A first purchase for collections needing diversity titles or where short stories and dystopia are popular.—Cindy Wall, Southington Library & Museum, CT
Kirkus Reviews
As the title promises, this sophisticated science-fiction anthology is diverse in nearly every sense of the word. Beyond their being science fiction, no single element or quality unites the collection's stories. However, the anthology was created in response to concerns that mixed-race characters, non-Western characters, LGBTQ characters and characters of color were underrepresented in young adult fiction, and most stories bring one or more of these underrepresented identities to the foreground. Readers will find poor children working in mines and factories, a have-not yao boy kidnapping a rich you girl and a girl reeling as the world inexplicably changes around her, and no one else notices. Although many stories imagine bleak futures, their tones are refreshingly varied. Daniel Wilson's tale of a robot attack at a frozen-yogurt shop takes the form of an almost-comical police-interview transcript. Ursula K. LeGuin's "Solitude" is a sweeping, nostalgic epic. K. Tempest Bradford's "Uncertainty Principle" is a character-driven time-travel tale. Understanding many of the stories takes patience: Readers are plunged quickly into complex worlds, and exposition often comes slowly. Careful, curious readers will be rewarded, though probably not comforted, by the many realities and futures imagined here. (Science fiction/anthology. 12 & up)

Read More

Product Details

Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Diverse Energies 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pops in* Hullo everyone!