Monday, November 7, 2016

Everything Change, edited by Manjana Milkoreit, Meredith Martinez and Joey Eschrich

Find this book
(Climate Change) Twelve finalists from the 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest on the theme of realistic stories of the near future that invite people to reflect on today's challenges. (44,919 words; Time: 2h:29m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

The 2016 Climate Fiction Short Story Contest was conducted by Arizona State University.

"," edited by Manjana Milkoreit, Meredith Martinez and Joey Eschrich, published on by .

Good Work for Novice Writers

Margret Atwood said "It's not climate change--it's everything change." The stories in this collection aim to show what that means. This volume was the result of Arizona State University's contest. It presents the prize winner, "Sushine State" first, followed by the four runners-up, and then the other seven finalists.

All of these stories are about the near-future (~ 50 years from now) impact of climate change. Seven of the stories are either mid or post-apocalypse; in the rest, most of the world is coping to one degree or another, although the protagonists are generally in places that are feeling the most pain. In seven of the stories (not the same seven), the protagonists are in a hopeless situation. In the rest, the protagonists are either holding on or else hopeful of making a better world. The winner was a hopeful story, as was the one story that RSR recommends.

Considering that these were all first-time writers (or close to it), these stories are remarkably solid. Out of 12 stories, we recommended 1 (average for the year-to-date would be 2) and recommended against 4 (which is average). Most of the stories have strong writing. The ones with problems generally had trouble with their plots, particularly with reaching a conclusion.

Compared with other "CliFi" stories, these are remarkably realistic. Only a couple of them stretch the bounds of the amount of change one could realistically expect to see by the end of the 21st Century.


Sunshine State, by Adam Flynn and Andrew Dana Hudson, was the contest winner, and even though we only gave it three stars, we'll mention it anyway because it was a close call. It takes place in Florida just as sea-level rise is beginning to cause unacceptable losses. The heroes are a cheerful group of people with an underground project they're sure can make a big difference. It's a fun read from start to end, provided you don't think too hard about the details.

On Darwin Tides, by Shauna O'Meara was our choice for the best story for two reasons: first, it was the only one that really triggered any positive emotional response; it really made us care about the characters. Second, it is the only story in the group with a tight plot. Nothing is wasted in this little story; every detail counts.

Other Reviews: Search Web,

5 & 4 Stories: 1;  Estimated Time: 17m (5K words)
Recommended By Stories: 1;  Estimated Time: 17m (5K words)
Total Stories: 12;  Estimated Time: 2h:29m (45K words)
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Rating: 5 -> Hugo-worthy

Rating: 4 -> Recommended

On Darwin Tides by Shauna O'Meara  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) In 2048, things are bad in Malaysia, especially for young refugees with no papers. Maslinia is sure she could be successful, if she could only get a break.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR:4

Rating: 3 -> Average

Acqua Alta by Ashley Bevilacqua Anglin1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) A young girl and her grandfather are among the last people living in Venice when they get an evacuation order in advance of a toxic high tide.
Shrinking Sinking Land by Kelly Cowley1  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) Flea's mom is trapped at the bottom of a sinkhole that opened inside their flat, and she's determined to save her.
Standing Still by Lindsay Redifer1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) An American woman in flooded Madascar marks the last day when anyone sells her favorite Malagasy food.
Sunshine State by Adam Flynn1 and Andrew Dana Hudson  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) Ramses joins The Myth to try to help salvage some of South Florida as the sea level rises.
The Grandchild Paradox by Daniel Thron1  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) A young man curses the old people who ruined his world and wonders if his grandkids will do the same.
Victor and the Fish by Matthew S. Henry1  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) Victor used to be a scientist, but now he's just a fishing guide. Given a chance to save a species from extinction, though, he'll do anything.
Wonder of the World by Kathryn Blume1  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) A boy in Canada builds a communication device, and it becomes a hit with survivors all over the world.

Rating: 2 -> Not Recommended

Into the Storm by Yakos Spiliotopoulos1  Time: 06m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) In the middle of a hurricane, Anwar sits in his office in Ottawa waiting for soldiers who might or might not be coming to arrest him.
LOSD and Fount by Henrietta Hartl1  Time: 04m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) The LOSD system monitors the island as the ocean gradually covers it. That and the one human who stayed behind.
Masks by Stirling Davenport  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) Julie and her advisor get set from Beijing to Tibet for a project to help keep China from strangling on its pollution.
Thirteenth Year by Diana Rose Harper1  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) Every thirteen years, sterile people are allowed to go to the surface and see if it's become inhabitable again.

Rating: 1 -> Needs Improvement

Rating: Not Rated

1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. Free and DRM-free ebook -- guess I've got no excuse not to check it out!