Sky City (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/12/13
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In Denmark, the science fiction short story is a thriving genre, though mostly as a subculture. Since 2007, The Danish science fiction association, Science Fiction Cirklen, has published an annual anthology of original science fiction short stories written by Danish authors. The present volume contains a selection from the first two of these annual anthologies. Many Danish authors place their stories in a local setting, and all of them have something to say in addition to "just" being entertaining. You will find philosophical parables, time travels, space yarns, alternate history and much more, as well as stories which in different ways come close to the literary mainstream. The huge Anglo-American influence on Danish culture since the Second World War is noticeable in the way the authors use the tropes and language of the genre in its modern, international vein. In making these stories available in English, our aim - besides entertaining the readers - is to demonstrate that science fiction truly is an international genre and that it is being written, even in small European countries like Denmark. With these words we hope you will enjoy this collection of the "best of the best." Contents for Sky City New Science Fiction Stories by Danish Author Preface Manfred Christiansen: Sky City Niels Gjerloff: Departure Richard Ipsen: The White Bear Glen Stihmoe: Helium Loves Company Flemming R. P. Rasch: The Last Astronaut Morten Brunbjerg: The Organism on Maneo Patrick Leis: The Tourist Dan Mygind: Know Your Target Audience Camilla Wandahl: The Red Parakeets Kenneth Krabat: The Short Arm of History Soren Elmerdahl Hemmingsen: A Contribution to the History of Denmak A. Silvestri: When the Music's Over Nikolaj Hojberg: The E-Puzzle Ellen Miriam Pedersen: Leading, Feeding Camilla Fonss Bach Friis: You are my Best Friend Brian P. Ornbol: Dreams of Stone Gudrun Ostergaard: The Green Jacket Sara Tanderup: In the Surface Lars Ahn Pedersen: Interrogation of Victim n
Many of the stories share common themes. One theme that recurred was that of a future in which people live in huge complexes containing many levels. The levels frequently seem to reflect the socioeconomic background of the people living there, with the more affluent living higher up. Regardless the characters in these stories don't seem particularly happy. One of these stories is "Dreams of Stone" by Brian P. Ørnbøl; this story is about a woman who travels far from home in search of the countryside. Another is "The Green Jacket" by Gudrun Østergaard, which is about an adolescent feeling rebellious about having to throw everything away annually; she has kept a green jacket from a previous year and travels down through the levels in search of a place where she can be an individual.
Another "skyscraper" story, "Sky City" by Manfred Christiansen, is a mystery of sorts.
Several stories are about a future that seems bleak or superficial. "The White Bear" by Richard Ipsen extrapolates from the practice in many Oriental cultures of preferring sons to daughters. "Helium Loves Company" by Glen Stihmøe takes place in a future that has been devastated by the escape from a lab of nanobots that have ravaged the environment; the characters in the story are searching for a safe haven. Journalism is the focus of "Know Your Target Audience" by Dan Mygind; today's trend of crafting programmes for a target audience is taken to an extreme. A. Silvestri's "When the Music's Over" depicts a future in which an extraterrestrial visitation transforms the entertainment industry. "The Red Parakeet" reminds me of Jean Anouihl and the Theatre of the Absurd; in this future the colour of everything is changed to red. "The Short Arm of History" by Kenneth Krabat takes place in a future that is apparently so unbearable that people will do anything to escape; a portal to other worlds or dimensions has been discovered, but it seems highly unpredictable when or where one may end up; yet people wait in queues that stretch for days. I'm not entirely certain if "In the Surface" by Sara Tanderup takes place on Earth; it could be a far future Earth or another Earthlike planet. "Interrogation of Victim No. 5" by Lars Ahn Pedersen takes place in a future in which people, for a price, can choose to have their memories uploaded after death; but there's a hitch; some people have religious objections to this form of "resurrection". Another story dealing with a similar theme is Nikolaj Hølberg's "The E-puzzle". Shyness and friendlessness do not disappear in the future as shown in Camilla Fønss Bach Friis's "You Are My Best Friend".
A few of the stories deal with space exploration. "Departure" by Niels Gjerloft concerns a group of explorers preparing to explore Jupiter's moon Europa. "The Last Astronaut" by Flemming R. P. Rasch takes place in the far future after robots have virtually replaced humans. In "The Organism on Maneo" by Morten Brumjerg, researchers study an extraterrestrial organism. A similar story is Ellen Miriam Pedersen's "Leading, Feeding".
Then there is "The Tourist" by Patrick Leis, which is about a time traveller. Another unique story is Søren Elnierdahl Hemmingsen's " A Contribution to the History of Denmark", which strikes me as a somewhat surrealistic reflection of history.
As in any anthology, some stories will appeal to a reader more than others. On the whole the book offers an interesting look at the science fiction of another country.