Dystopian Short Stories from Tor.com

Tor.com

Here is the next batch of short stories from Tor.com. I’ve collected together five stories which deal with near futures in which the world has changed: often clearly for the worse, but sometimes for the better with a poignant kick. Here we find people relieving others of pain or emotion; a virus that traps you in a fatal dream of happiness; and the cruelty of the fashion industry taken to extremes. And a reminder, should you need it, that dystopias don’t always need to be outside our own heads…

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The Philosopher Kings: Jo Walton

★★★½

Thessaly: Book II

We rejoin the inhabitants of the island of Kallisti twenty years after the conclusion of The Just City, when the project to construct a living version of Plato’s Republic foundered on the rocks of debate, arrogance and divine impatience. A generation has passed since then and, with many of the Masters dead and a new crop of Young Ones growing up, it falls to the Children – those brought to Kallisti at ten years old – to steer their way towards the best possible world. But things are not what they once were and, in the absence of Athene, the high ideals of a philosophical city are already beginning to crumble.

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The Just City: Jo Walton

★★★★

Thessaly: Book I

In his book The Republic, Plato dreamed of a just society in which the pursuit of knowledge and excellence would be the highest goal. It was a daring dream, the first utopia: an elaborate thought-experiment which has captivated the imagination of thinkers through the ages. But could it actually work? Athena is determined to find out. Gathering together those who, throughout history, have read Republic and prayed to her that it might be possible to live in such a place, she prepares the groundwork for the realisation of the greatest political fantasy ever imagined.

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