STRANDED by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis and James Alan Gardner
Three thought-provoking, short stories of young people stranded in some manner in space. Each story features situations that have to be dealt with by the teens/young adults who have been placed in charge of their lives in various ways, whether intentionally or not.
One is a “city-ship” from earth charged with atoning for the devastation visited on other species by humans, millennia in the past. This takes the form of carefully seeding other planets with everything needed to establish a balanced ecology from single-celled creatures to large, animals and everything they need to survive, using advanced technology which the people of the ship can no longer create. Each successive generation is trained to take over these tasks from the previous generation of adults… but technology can’t last forever and all things come to an end.
One is an exploration ship on which the adults and many young people were stricken with a terrible disease and died, leaving a bare few children and teenagers to operate the ship as they grow up and try to figure out how to deal with a closed society, lacking any helpful instructions or ideas, as the ship voyages on, looking for a port where they can find help.
One is the story of a teenage girl who awakens by herself in a medical facility with no idea how she got there or where the rest of the people have gone. She must find her own way through the facility and try to find help, but encounters an unimaginable reality that she discovers is all too real and she, along with many other sleeping humans, are about to be destroyed by the human race because they are “infected” with an alien plague.
Three very different situations imagined by these excellent writers. Each story is brilliantly written without condescending to the age group it showcases. If you know a teenager who thinks “sci-fi” is for old fuddy-duddies, give them “Stranded” and see how the feel after they read it! I definitely recommend this set of short stories to young adult and other readers who enjoy YA.
I was given a free copy of this work by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This will be posted on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, LibraryThing and my blog at http://www.museofhellreviews.wordpress.com.