SpecMusicMuse—Review of Altered States: A Cyberpunk Sci-Fi Anthology, Edited by Roy C. Booth and Jorge Salgado-Reyes
Altered States is a cyberpunk anthology whose stories broaden the horizon of what is usually thought of as subgenre with tight borders. The fifteen stories inside range from the well-defined tropes, to the experimental, to everything in between. Nine are reprints, and six are original to this anthology. My particular favorites were:
“Living in the Singularity” by Tom Borthwick: the plot twist was somewhat expected but fit the story well.
“Ex Machina” by Cynthia Ward: combines hacking with psychology and explores the concept of collective consciousness. I didn’t expect this plot twist at all, and it made for a great ending.
“Extra Credit” by Paul Levinson: combines cyberpunk with parallel worlds. As always, Levinson weaves a great tale from start to finish.
“Attention Whore” by Kerry G.S. Lipp: the most interesting story in the antho. I found it to be just as relatable to modern day as it is to a near-future cyberpunk setting…and the story gave me chills.
Altered States is a great anthology to add to your collection whether you prefer cyberpunk specifically or science fiction in general. I highly recommend it.
Best to read while listening to: the soundtracks to Blade Runner and Johnny Mnemonic. Also throw some Atari Teenage Riot into the mix.
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