Waiting for the Machines to Fall Asleep is a collection of science fiction short stories. What makes this book a must-read for science fiction fans is that these stories are all written by authors from Sweden; this is an opportunity for the English speaking audience to see how a different culture can influence their favorite genre. The book includes twenty-six stories and runs the gamut of themes and styles.
In “Getting to the End” readers are treated to a science fiction narrative that is written like an old hardboiled crime noir, and involves layers like the Inception film. The main character finds things for a living, and is sent out into the dangerous Event Sector by a mysterious redhead who seems to know more about what is going on than she is willing to tell. When a mad computer is generating your entire existence things can get a little strange.
In “The Order of Things,” Ida is barely surviving in the Outskirts, small communities that exists outside the walls of the City. She escaped the City to raise her son in a place where he could be free from the oppression, and the cruelty of City life. However, when her son is stung by a werefly the only way to save his life is to turn to her brother in the City. Ida has to choose whether she is willing to give up her humanity to save her son.
Readers will run into stories filled with bizarre worlds, futuristic and seemingly impossible technologies, robot uprisings, dystopias, utopias, apocalyptic scenarios, and monsters. They will inspire laughter, contemplation, and overwhelming dread. This is a wonderful glimpse into work by authors that aren’t easily accessible in the US, and is well worth the read.
Whitney Smyth received a Master’s in Book Publishing and Technical Writing at Portland State University, following a Bachelor’s in English at the University of Arizona. She took over ownership of Portland Book Review in December of 2014. She also works as a freelance editor and can be commissioned at Smyth Editorial Services and spends what little free time she has on her own writing. Coming from a family of readers she devours an average of one hundred books a year, in a variety of genres. Her favorite authors are far too numerous to list, but include Alexandre Dumas, Mary Shelley, Jim Butcher, and John Green.
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