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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Future Fables and Strange Stories by I.B. is a blend of sci-fi, horror, tragedy, a slice of life and more. Featuring 13 stories, it starts with Across the Universe, where an A.I.－ a “piece of a robot brain inside a satellite that’s been traveling for millennia”－keeps collecting data, learning, pondering. When it thought space became an endless void, it spots a light from a strange star, giving it hope, excitement, allowing it to “predict the one thing I’ve never been able to predict: my own fate”. I found it a wonderful metaphor for one not to lose hope for there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
What if parents can design the perfect child for them? A World of Options is set in the future where a couple can prevent diseases, choose physical attributes and personality for their unborn baby. Harper and Evie are excited about the procedure but wary when their doctor pushes them to choose the best ‘baby package’. Is it fair to let their own genes decide their child’s future when everyone else has opted for perfection? A thought-provoking tale when we humans attempt to play God through science.
A good deed turns bad in Sleeping Sickness when a man named Dan decides to spend several days with his depressed friend, Ezra, at his cabin to play an online fantasy game. Strange things start to happen though and Ezra is acting weird. Dan desperately wants to go home, but will Ezra let him leave? It’s a psychological, supernatural horror that would be entertainingly creepy to watch as a short film. Overall, the collection truly justifies its title; it is a Future Fables and Strange Stories. Engaging and a blend of many themes, this is a great read from I.B.