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The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows

The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows

5.0 3
by Jonathan Strahan

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Truly successful science fiction does two things: it gives credible glimpses into the future while entertaining the reader. With this in mind, noted anthologist Jonathan Strahan-who is also the reviews editor of Locus magazine-asked sixteen of today's most inventive, compelling writers to look past the horizon of the present day. Neil Gaiman (Anansi


Truly successful science fiction does two things: it gives credible glimpses into the future while entertaining the reader. With this in mind, noted anthologist Jonathan Strahan-who is also the reviews editor of Locus magazine-asked sixteen of today's most inventive, compelling writers to look past the horizon of the present day. Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys), Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners), Garth Nix (the Abhorsen Trilogy), Scott Westerfeld (Uglies; Pretties; Specials) and their colleagues have crafted a dazzling range of stories. Whether on spaceships, in suburbia, or in simulated gaming worlds, whether about cloning, battle tactics, or corporate politics, the stories of The Starry Rift will give every reader something to consider. This original anthology is crucial reading for those who want to see where the future-and the future of science fiction-is headed.

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
. . . a feast of provocative, fully imagined science-fiction microcosms-in turn reflective, political, action-packed, and mind-bending-that do justice to the genre.

In some ways, it seems as though this collection tries to be all anthologies to all audiences. The subtitle and inside blurb hint at cutting-edge SF, while the authors comprise a veritable who's who of the genre's more literary writers. But the book's unspoken promise is the least fulfilled: Although there is no overt mention that this book is aimed at young adult readers, almost every story features a teen protagonist, suggesting that contributors were asked to tailor stories to that market. Not surprisingly, the book's success is mixed. Several stories, including Repair Kit by Stephen Baxter, merely rehash old pulp devices rather than skirt the cutting edge. Kelly Link's The Surfer is beautifully written, but the inclusion of aliens detracts from the brilliant characterization and otherwise compelling plot. The format of Neil Gaiman's Orange, consisting only of answers to interview questions, is so well executed that it transcends gimmickry, but the throwaway plot drags the story back down. A few stories should specifically appeal to teen readers, such as The Star Surgeon's Apprentice by Alistair Reynolds, which includes action, moral dilemmas, and a fresh take on pirates. Similarly Anda's Game by Cory Doctorow updates Ender's Game for today's online gamers. Most pieces, however, are simply not knock-'em-dead YA material. Although libraries should purchase this anthology, the young adult section might not be the best place to shelve it. Reviewer: Amy Sisson
Children's Literature - Gail C. Krause
In this science fiction anthology, short stories of science fiction range everywhere from a 13 year-old boy who must starve himself and dehydrate so he can take a copy of Charlotte's Web with him to an extraterrestrial galaxy to a beach boy vampire hunter to a surfer who accepts aliens as the future of his world to siblings caught in a gaming world. Anthologist Jonathan Strahan has collected 16 stories by world-famous authors. These stories are different because each has a protagonist who is a teen. This book is aimed toward young adult readers, hoping to focus their attention on the cutting edge of tomorrow, but some of the stories could easily be read in the adult world. This book has a different approach in that each of the stories is accompanied by an author's note and a brief biography of the writer. Reviewer: Gail C. Krause
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up- This inspiring collection of short stories contains contributions from authors who are well known in the science-fiction genre, including Neil Gaiman, Corey Doctorow, Garth Nix, and Scott Westerfeld. As the subtitle indicates, the selections look forward to what life might be like in the distant, and not-so-distant, future. Some common sci-fi tropes are explored, including alien visits to Earth and overpowering computer games, as well as some less familiar styles and topics such as the future of vampirism and a particularly interesting story written as answers to an unseen questionnaire. Each of the tales is not only entertaining to read, but also provides a thought-provoking element to consider. This anthology provides ample opportunities for new readers to sample the genre and will keep die-hard fans content. Quality stories by authors at the height of their craft make this anthology a must-have for any library. The brief biographies and author notes provide extra background detail and insight into the writing process.-Dylan Thomarie, Johnstown High School, NY

Kirkus Reviews
This compendium of short stories springs from a wonderful premise: Encourage young readers to open up their imaginations to science fiction with tales told by some of the leading writers of the genre. Unfortunately, this bulky volume does not live up to the promise. Only Neil Gaiman's odd little story "Orange" reaches out to grab the reader, with a narrative told entirely in answers to a written questionnaire. Science fiction is a genre that requires readers to believe what is often beyond their immediate reality. To do that well often means taking time to build characters, situations and environment; the craft does not necessarily translate well when moved to the tight venue of short stories. These writers are well-known professionals, with great works to their credit, but their efforts work best in longer narratives. Young readers would be better served with full-length books by such practitioners as Kenneth Oppel and Eoin Colfer. (Science fiction/short stories. 12+)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.82(w) x 8.52(h) x 1.68(d)
870L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Jonathan Strahan lives in Perth, Australia.

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The Starry Rift: Tales of New Tomorrows 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
THE STARRY RIFT is truly a collection of stories about today's ideals, dreams, and philosophies. Strahan did an amazing job collecting stories written by modern science fiction masters. The authors write beautifully, uniquely, and intriguingly.

This anthology is masterful in representing different worlds and conceptions of worlds, covering everything from the real world to gaming to dreaming. The exploration of themes in the book cover everything from philosophy to the growing epidemic of obesity, from what is truly important to a person to who is truly important to a person, and from world economics to love.

It is a book that really looks at the human spirit with hope and sees the future as a reality. Each story draws the reader in and makes them a part of the tale. There is a story for virtually every mood and topic one can come up with. Overall, it is a beautiful anthology.