"New Ceres Nights"

Short story anthology: New Ceres Nights
Edited by  Alisa Krasnostein & Tehani Wessely
Published by Twelfth Planet Press

Of all the books I picked up at Aussiecon 4, (the world SF con in 2010), New Ceres Nights is the one I have most enjoyed.

Legend has it that New Ceres began as a shared world. The idea is that a planet colonised by humans has decided to go retro and use no technology beyond that of the 18th century enlightenment period. Not all the colonists are entirely happy with this idea, of course, especally those who would like to make use of longevity treatments to live forever, or even those who would like to use contemporary medicine to survive, say, childbirth. Also at odds with the low tech laws is the planet itself which produces food that is toxic to humans unless carefully refined. To add to this, spaceships still arrive bearing tourists and refugees from other worlds. New Ceres is not isolated from technology.

New Ceres Nights is not just a costume drama. The writers who share the world really have to do some thinking about how their characters feel about their situations.The fact that the stories are presented in chronological order gives them an overall story arc. This helps make them more interesting. This doesn't mean that any of the stories are boring. I have my particular favourites, but I found them all well written and intriguing. The sweep of future history they represent, though, becomes interesting in itself.  We sense a society developing and growing old.

The authors are all people you've probably heard of. Some of them I had not heard of before, and I'm glad of the introduction. Yes, there are modern writers out there worth reading, and yes, it is worth picking up books from small and indie publishers. Write On!

Here's the list:

Dirk Flinthart, Aliette de Bodard, Stephen Dedman, Sylvia Kelso, and Kaaren Warren,
Thoraiya Dyer, JC Hay, Matthew Farrer (who also writes for Warhammer 40K), Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sue Isle, Martin Livings, Lee Battersby, and Angela Slatter.

A good, fun read. Find it here