A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees - a microcosm of today's Africa - a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria.
As METAtropolis: Green Space moves into the 22nd Century, human social evolution is heading in new directions after the Green Crash and the subsequent Green Renaissance. Nearly everyone who cares to participate in the wired world has become part of the "Internet of things", a virtual environment mapped across all aspects of the natural experience. At the same time, the serious back-to-the-land types have embraced a full-on paleo lifestyle, including genetically engineering themselves and their offspring.
"The Good and the Bad"
American Book Award-winning author Edwidge Danticat earned a National Book Award nomination for this brilliant collection of stories, which includes the Pushcart Prize-winner "Between the Pool and the Gardenias". A remarkably gifted writer, Danticat examines the brutality of her native Haiti, particularly as it affects women, in tales that soar with raw emotion.
Like Gabriel García Márquez, Edwidge Danticat, and Maryse Condé before her, Tiphanie Yanique has crafted a debut collection that is heartbreaking, hilarious, and mesmerizing. Set mostly in the U.S. Virgin Islands, these lyrical and haunting stories are part oral history, part postcolonial narrative - but ultimately a loving portrait of a wholly unique place.
Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few listeners will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately. The eight-year-old narrator of "An Ex-Mas Feast" needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his 12-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted.
"Beautiful Disturbing Prose"
Fifty-four poems, all in different voices, written by one outstanding author. Residents of a fictional Harlem community, from motorman to teacher, from party girl to live-in maid, to jazz artist, a deacon, students, veterans and more - all embodied by 13 remarkable narrators. Original musical recordings from the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Thelonious Monk are included. Each distinctive memory, reflection, thought, or aspiration is evocatively presented in this stunning and memorable tribute.
When Bashar pays an unannounced visit to the J. Appleseed Foundation, he encounters the ghosts of his long past. And the trail of clues he follows will put his wife and daughter directly in the crosshairs - and threaten the very existence of Seattle.
These connected stories were originally published in METAtropolis: Green Space. In addition, Jay Lake's "Rock of Ages" was selected for inclusion in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-First Annual Collection, edited by Gardner Dozois.