by J. L. Comeau
The Tomb of Dark Deights
Cory Doctorow is one of the sharp-minded and innovative young SF authors that are currently changing the pace and direction of the genre. His novella, The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, is set in a dystopian future after a cataclysmic grappling for technological power–the Mecha Wars–has virtually destroyed the world, leaving little but the city of Detroit standing. It is in this future Detroit that young Jimmy Yensid, a transhuman boy who has been gengineered to age at such a slow place he is nearly immortal. Jimmy lives with his father in the crumbling Comerica Park, where their most prized possession is the restored Carousel of Progress exhibit from Disneyworld. Due to his slowed aging process, Jimmy has been struggling with puberty for several decades, and his most fervent desire is to grow up and become a man. But a long life isn’t guaranteed. Aboard his mecha, Jimmy does battle with a rampaging gang of boys in one of the finest action sequences ever! With stark imagery, scorching action and lacerating language, Mr. Doctorow describes a grim and believable future where being human and behaving in a humane manner aren’t necessarily synonymous. Also included is a incisive essay describing the problematic business retaining a creative copyright in the world of digital publishing, and, finally a fascinating interview conducted by SF author Terry Bisson.