Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction

Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction

3.5 2
by A. J. Fitzwater
     
 

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Miner. Harvester. Mechanic. Sanitation Worker. These are not the typical careers of your average science fiction protagonists. Until now.

Crossed Genres presents MENIAL: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction, an anthology of seventeen stories about the people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty.

From the literal guts of a spaceship, to the energy-starved

Overview

Miner. Harvester. Mechanic. Sanitation Worker. These are not the typical careers of your average science fiction protagonists. Until now.

Crossed Genres presents MENIAL: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction, an anthology of seventeen stories about the people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty.

From the literal guts of a spaceship, to the energy-starved lands of a future Earth, to the inhospitable surfaces of other planets, MENIAL explores the stories of people who understand and maintain the building blocks of civilization. They work hard, live hard, and love hard. They're not afraid to build the future they want to live in, even knowing the often high human cost of hard labor.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
SF often focuses on an unintrospective middle class and would-be aristocrats while ignoring the blue-collar workers whose skilled labor keeps the infrastructure of civilization functioning. This collection of 17 short stories attempts to address that oversight, but the well-intentioned authors often feel distant from the workers whose struggles they comment on, and their conceptions of labor and related issues are not terribly creative. A.J. Fitzwater’s “Diamond in the Rough” looks at workplace harassment but suffers from a white-knight hero. Margaret M. Gilman’s “All in a Day’s Work” and Kevin Bennett’s “The Belt” cover industrial mishaps. A.D. Spencer’s “Carnivores” introduces developmentally disadvantaged workers while Barbara Krasnoff’s “The Didibug Pin” features willfully neglectful management. The anthology’s heart is in the right place, but it never recovers from a tepid start. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780615705613
Publisher:
Crossed Genres Publications
Publication date:
10/12/2012
Pages:
150
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.32(d)

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Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
plappen More than 1 year ago
Most science fiction stories are bout tall, square-jawed adventurers exploring the galaxy and singlehandedly vanquishing the alien foe. What about the people who perform the unexciting "blue collar" jobs that make the voyages possible? A being, of indeterminate gender, maintains a ship's waste treatment system. A female asteroid miner has a unique companion. It is an alien-constructed being, made from human sperm. It looks exactly like a human, but, on the inside, there is no mind or personality. Imagine an episode of the TV show "The Deadliest Catch" moved to the asteroid belt.  On Titan, a human miner is caught in the conveyor belt that carries the pieces of rock out of the mine, and deposits them in a giant pile, in open vacuum. A trio of women spens their days walking on top of a domed city, patching up holes and cracks in the dome. Another story takes place on an Earth that has run out of energy. The only working motor vehicles are those that people build themselves. There is also a news story about the hazards involved in being part of the crew building a space station in orbit. This is a strong, well done group of stories about a not-well-known part of society. There is a good variety of stories, from lesser-known authors, that are well worth reading