Book Review of the Waiting For the Machines to Fall Asleep, Anthology edited by Peter Oberg
Published by Affront Publishing in 2015
Waiting For the Machines to Fall Asleep, is a giant, mostly Science Fiction Anthology, which is edited by Peter Oberg. I should also point out that it is a Swedish compilation. I do not review as many anthologies as I used to. I have a local guy that loves them, so I give him most of what I get, but since my grandmother was Swedish and I am a huge 6’7 man who really feels like a Viking at heart, I figured I should probably read this one myself.
First on the menu is Melody of the Yellow Sea by Hans Olsson. Yep, this story rocked. It started out as a Science Fiction tale where a company has a young student help them reach a far world, but it quickly becomes a horror when they arrive. People get slaughtered and if, the forced to step up hero, does not do something, so will our entire planet. Great way to start the book. Second up, we have The Rats, by Boel Bermann. Rats do not have to be scary for everyone, but perhaps they should be. Yet in the end who is really the crueler species and who is the vermin?
Erik Odeldahl brings us Getting to the End. This is a mystery inside a mystery. You think you know what is happening, but neither you nor the characters are really sure. They find themselves living a life that is not their own and struggling to reach an ending, but then having to start all over again when they can not reach it.
Vegatropolism, The City of The Beautiful, was written by Ingrid Rernvali. What would happen in a world where machines shaped like people are not only real, but also better than humans? How would we react? How would we feel about ourselves? What would we do if they began to hunt us down?
Love Kolle brings us Jump to the Left, Jump to the Right. I loved this one. This was right up my line with how would a cultural evolve on a far away planet if it lost the thread of Earth’s culture. In this our hero must bring back a beast or not be allowed back into her tribe. Her only guiding light, a single disco tune.
The Order of Things, by Lupina Ojala comes next. This is a dark future we explore. A world where favors can me worth more than the scraps of technology the surviving humans cling to. Well written and inventive, it proves to be one of the stronger stories here.
Christina Nordlander not only has an awesome name but penned To Preserve Humankind for us to enjoy. What would be the easiest way to clean things neat and tidy for your human master if you were a service robot? Making sure they could not make any messes might be the logical place to start.
The Thirteenth Tower comes next and is written by Pia Lindesstrand. What would it be like to remember just enough of the old world to know names, but little else? How would your understanding evolve? How would you learn to survive the unsurvivable?
These and eighteen more stories to tilt your mind wait for you within this anthology. Overall I liked this work. Many stories were quite powerful, while others didn’t move me too much. The work is strongly AI focused, so readers interested in that vein of writing and thought should consider checking this out.
I think some of the stories worked too hard to do too much in a short story. I know that takes talent and is what you want to do, but too many levels should be reserved for novel writing. Hell, if you have an idea that complex…
This is the best anthology I have read in a long while. Strong stories help bridge the gap through the others that did not excite me as much, giving the book an overall grade of 4 stars. If mind twisting Science Fiction is your love, you will be pleased if you give this one a try.
|Waiting For the Machines to Fall Asleep, edited by Peter Oberg on Amazon|