DIVERSE ENERGIES by Tobias S.  Bucknell


Age Range: 12 - 18
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As the title promises, this sophisticated science-fiction anthology is diverse in nearly every sense of the word.

Beyond their being science fiction, no single element or quality unites the collection's stories. However, the anthology was created in response to concerns that mixed-race characters, non-Western characters, LGBTQ characters and characters of color were underrepresented in young adult fiction, and most stories bring one or more of these underrepresented identities to the foreground. Readers will find poor children working in mines and factories, a have-not yao boy kidnapping a rich you girl and a girl reeling as the world inexplicably changes around her, and no one else notices. Although many stories imagine bleak futures, their tones are refreshingly varied. Daniel Wilson's tale of a robot attack at a frozen-yogurt shop takes the form of an almost-comical police-interview transcript. Ursula K. LeGuin's “Solitude” is a sweeping, nostalgic epic. K. Tempest Bradford's “Uncertainty Principle” is a character-driven time-travel tale. Understanding many of the stories takes patience: Readers are plunged quickly into complex worlds, and exposition often comes slowly.

Careful, curious readers will be rewarded, though probably not comforted, by the many realities and futures imagined here. (Science fiction/anthology. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-60060-887-2
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Lee & Low
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2012


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