Review of small press and independent books.
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The Road Unravelled - Science Fiction, 21st century
The Earlyworks Press Science Fiction Challenge
We said: “We're looking for stories that are a credible picture of where we might be heading - or where we could end up if.... Stories should conform to the sci-fi 'What if...' genre, that is, they should be predictions backed by credible if not actual science.
But the science must stay in the background. We want stories you can read without having an MSc! And they must have real, in depth characters, not just manikins to drive the space ships.
There are lists of ‘over-used sci-fi plots’ going around the web. Can you make one of these plots worth visiting again, or do you have a truly original idea?”
That was the challenge, and The Road Unravelled is the authors’ answer to it. They have given us theories about god, genetics, mortality and human responsibility. They have asked what can and cannot be done with computers, robots and AI, and what it is that makes us human. The result is some startling predictions about our society and our environment based on the social, political and scientific developments of recent years.
Compared with the SF classics of the 20th century, we feel that the mood is both sobering and challenging. The world is in grave danger. Technology is no longer a game. These gripping stories raise some mind-melting questions so enjoy them, think on them, and sleep if you dare!
Kay Green August 2007
The Road Unravelled, available from Earlyworks Press from 11th October 2007.