I write short stories and screenplays mostly in the horror genre. Several of my short stories have been published including one about a Kumiho (Korean Werefox). I regularly blog about writing, the horror genre and reviews at https://www.facebook.com/davidjenkinswriter
Review of We Can Improve You edited by Brian Marshall, Alex Davis
Blurb- We are all born with the potential to be great, through the wonders bestowed upon us by nature. But, as technology advances, why should we settle for those simple gifts we were born with? Why shouldn’t the future see humanity become more?
We Can Improve You explores the theme of augmentation, and what happens when science and technology combine with flesh and blood. Often surprising, sometimes startling, occasionally funny but always thought-provoking, We Can Improve You brings together a range of stories that might just become real some day…
This collection has a great cover and I enjoyed at least 10 out of the 13 stories. Before I deal with specific stories I like, my general view is that a lot of stories focused on improving ones brain capacity and the problem of technology- viruses and breakdown of equipment but managed to do so in different ways. The feeling of isolation runs through several tales and it makes me wonder if increased technology would isolate us more and lead to even more problems for humanity.
My three favourite stories were-
‘Driver Not Found’ by Gavthrope which demonstrated what would if there is a hardware problem and everything including opening doors, calling people, socialising etc. is dependent upon a chip in your head. The repeated reference to the exact amount of seconds it takes the main character to think or do something neatly demonstrates how technology has took over.
‘The Future Embodied’ by Rose Taylor, which dealt with the exclusion of not being able to improve oneself with technology and how as the girl progresses it, becomes even more problematic. At four pages long is probably the best flash fiction piece I have ever read.
‘Outbreak’ by Bryan Nickelberry has a great narrative voice warning us what went wrong. He demonstrated each mistake made like people taking a drug to change into animals and each mistake seems like it could be what this big warning is about until the final reveal.
Overall I would highly recommend this collection not just because of the great stories but for the messages they give about our potential future.