The worlds breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places...
- Ernest Hemmingway
In a future of bleakness and roboticism, a totalitarian government enforces upon the people a lifestyle that lulls them into a state of obedience. Your career and social status are predestined and you cannot alter it - this is a reality that walks a fine line between evoking sensations of fear and inducing a sense of futility.
A dystopian reality can sometimes turn out to be as powerful and strong as it can be fragile, collapsing in on itself from one second to the next. As a race, we are fascinated with what comes next, what's over the hill and, inevitably, what happens if we're left all alone. How can things go on? What lessons can we learn?
Broken Worlds: Dystopian Stories takes a peep into an all too possible future. Narration and style change from story to story, but the core of this volume is human emotion. Coloured by their cultures and backgrounds, the storytellers featured in this volume take the idea of a society at extremes and weave a variety of outcomes.
We invite you to read and hope you enjoy this collection.
The Sad Man by Thomas Brown (competition winner)
From the fifth-floor window of his inner-city flat, a man keeps watch for his friend, the Sad Man.
Pioneer by Joe Saxon
Lidia lives in the waterworks, always hungry, until she receives a message from the supervisors of the upper floors.
The Insects by Gavin Bryce
Thia is a city with millions of electronic eyes. On his retirement day, Roman Huxley has planned a special retirement present for the entire megacity.
Screens by Alix Owen
A story inspired by the advent of Google Glass; when one young man contracts a biomechanical disease, he is forced to see what the world has become while everybody else was social networking.
Machinations by Shira Hereld
A marriage is slowly falling apart as both partners become more and more reliant on mechanical Andros for everything from housework to intimacy.
The Architect by Gavin Haran
A local obituarist tracks the sinister transformation of his town through the introduction of mysterious architectural constructions with unexpected consequences
The Deepening Well by Sam Hurcom
Can a state of mind be considered dystopian - how would the end of history affect the last survivng individual?
3AM Job by Mark Schultz
On a future Earth, where absolute free market capitalism controls the globe, a freelance butcher accepts an early morning job which turns out to be far more profitable than it seems at first glance.
The Farm by George Vernon
A farmer and his family are threatened by their rebellious herd.
Vision of Paradise by Clare Banks
In the late 21st Century, a mind-altering drug is added to water supplies to combat global depression, but when a young housekeeper learns about a secret society's ambition to get it removed, her beliefs are challenged as her employer commits suicide to safeguard the group's anonymity.
The Last Canvas by Paul Dawson
In an apocalyptic future ruled by strange men, the only humans allowed to live are they who can illuminate what it is to be human - through their art, literature, music, philosophy and wisdom.
The Leadership Gene by Francis Beckett
He was a marketer, bred to write clever phrases. She was bred for leadership. No one could ever know of their love.