The Dark SF Bundle, curated by Lavie Tidhar, features Nancy Kress, Nick Mamatas, Susan Palwick, and Peter Watts
The Dark SF Bundle from the fine folks at StoryBundle offers extraordinary journeys into some of the bleaker realities of science fiction:
• Genocidal Organ by Project Itoh • AFTER THE FALL, BEFORE THE FALL, DURING THE FALL by Nancy Kress • The Second Shooter by Nick Mamatas • THE FATE OF MICE by Susan Palwick • Plague Birds by Jason Sanford • Infinity Wars edited by Jonathan Strahan • One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky • Martian Sands by Lavie Tidhar • THE FREEZE-FRAME REVOLUTION by Peter Watts • Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley
Science fiction has dabbled in utopia before, but never as often as people might think. The early writers’ visions of the future were often dire. There was Asimov’s crumbling galactic empire in Foundation, or his murder-driven The Caves of Steel with its claustrophobically enclosed city. Philip K. Dick’s nightmares took form in print, paranoid horror-like tales of a shifting reality in classics like Ubik or The Man in the High Castle. Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend imagined the last man on Earth haunted by vampires.Lavie Tidhar
There is a certain darkness to much good SF, an underlying sense that, beneath the glimmering golden surface of spaceships and robots and towers reaching up to the skies there is a shadow, and it will always be there, and might engulf us all. Once it might have been fear of the Bomb, now perhaps of cataclysmic climate collapse. War was then, and is now. Not much has changed. But dark SF has within it, too, a dark seduction. There is a place, it seems to whisper, for the cozy, the cheerful and optimistic in your heart. But deep down you know the truth. Things don’t end well. Sit down. Relax. Read a book and wait for your inevitable extinction. What else is there to do?
The writers gathered here have all written some pretty dark stuff in their time, but what I hope you find here is a collection of science fiction tales as fine as any you may wish to encounter here at the start of the new twenties, with all the chaos our reality currently exhibits. This is science fiction with an edge – as science fiction must be, if it is to be relevant! And it comes from some of the top names in the field. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.