Meet Me in the Future: Stories

Meet Me in the Future: Stories

“One of the best story collections of the past few years.” —Booklist, starred review“16 hard-edged pieces that gleam like gems in a mosaic.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review“Kameron Hurley is a badass.” —Annalee Newitz, author of AutonomousWhen renegade author Kameron Hurley (The Light Brigade; The Stars Are Legion) takes you to the future, be prepared for the unexpected...

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Title:Meet Me in the Future: Stories
Author:Kameron Hurley
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Meet Me in the Future: Stories Reviews

  • Jim

    I loved APOCALYPSE NYX when I got to read it and I have yet to pick up the GOD'S WAR books or anything else by Hurley, but I did get to read the short stories in MEET ME in the FUTURE and I must say, I was even more impressed with her raw, beautiful stories and characters.

    Hurley is unapologetic about the stories (read her Introduction for more information).

    I will hunt her books down and read them all. There are very few authors I feel that way about, but Hurley is definitely one of them.

  • Silvana

    I read the stories already via Patreon. Fantastic collection of diverse, layered, strong characters and worldbuilding. It is Kameron Hurley, after all, so I am definitely and unapologetically biased.

  • Bradley

    I'm generally not that big into short stories and by way of Hurley's introduction, I might have expected her to do a so-so job with these... but Hurley lies. The writer's talents are equal across novels and short fiction. Sorry, Hurley, you're good! lol

    Indeed, most of these stories are pretty amazing, delving not only into her Nyx fiction and Legion fiction and even Light Brigade, but this collection has a ton of stories that kicked me hard from a different world altogether. The only other serie

    I'm generally not that big into short stories and by way of Hurley's introduction, I might have expected her to do a so-so job with these... but Hurley lies. The writer's talents are equal across novels and short fiction. Sorry, Hurley, you're good! lol

    Indeed, most of these stories are pretty amazing, delving not only into her Nyx fiction and Legion fiction and even Light Brigade, but this collection has a ton of stories that kicked me hard from a different world altogether. The only other series I haven't read is the Worldbreaker Saga and I'm honestly at a loss as to guess whether the other set of related stories revolving people jumping corpses is related to that or whether this is a taste of a brand new series to come.

    If it is, I'm TOTALLY DOWN FOR IT.

    Hey! Hey! But what about THIS short story collection? Is it GOOD?

    Sorry? Didn't I say?

    It's totally engrossing. :) Taken on its own without knowing any of the other novels, it completely works and showcases so much fungal growth, corpse making, body-horror, sexual-orientation-swapping, space-opera, disease-ridden, dog-loving joy as anyone could possibly want. And the worldbuilding is always extremely intense. :)

    I will get around to her other novels, but in the meantime, I am on auto-read for anything new that Hurley throws at us. Eagerly.

  • Corvus

    Kameron Hurley has quickly become on of my favorite fiction authors. I have been immersing myself in her collection of works and adding more to my shelf to read next. I was excited to get the chance to read her forthcoming short story collection,

    , for the aforementioned reasons but also because I had not read any of her short stories yet.

    Short story collections are this odd measure of diversity in talent in which a favored author can perform unexpectedly badly or a mediocre

    Kameron Hurley has quickly become on of my favorite fiction authors. I have been immersing myself in her collection of works and adding more to my shelf to read next. I was excited to get the chance to read her forthcoming short story collection,

    , for the aforementioned reasons but also because I had not read any of her short stories yet.

    Short story collections are this odd measure of diversity in talent in which a favored author can perform unexpectedly badly or a mediocre author can rock your world. They can often be a collection of amazing stories mixed with ones that are so bad it is difficult to understand how they were allowed to be published at all. In Hurley's case, an excellent author of novels performs excellently in the short story realm as well, despite her claims in the introduction that she is not a short fiction writer. I started bookmarking my favorite stories to list in this review. But, by the end of the book, I had bookmarked most of the stories which basically made the practice unnecessary. It is rare not only that someone performs superbly across mediums but also that a collection of shorts is excellent the whole way through. It is obvious that these stories were written and chosen with care and intent to produce something great.

    I want to focus a bit on the introduction, because it was enlightening to me why it is that Hurley draws me in so well even when she is covering themes that don't often attract me. I often think I am not really into themes of war, grotesque and gory body horror, or which lean more fantasy than science fiction at times. Yet, I feel completely immersed in Hurley's works that often completely center these things. I have come to realize that it is how someone presents them to me that matters. The reality is that not enough authors' writing involving these themes has the insight Hurley's has. She discusses in the introduction that she lives with serious chronic illness and disability and had grandparents who lived through the Nazi occupation, one of whom was captured on suspicion of being part of the French resistance movements. I also knew that she is

    who is formally educated in South African resistance movements (available in the author biography at the end of the book.) These all inform her writing in ways that captures a reality of struggle and suffering that is not just written for the sake of shock or disturbance.

    The ways disability and illness inform several stories is in intimate and real portrayals of disabled life. There is one character with leg braces who describes formerly being told she is "lucky' by doctors who only focus on her ability to eventually walk again and not her permanent catheter, her (implied) ostomy bag, her sex life, or that trauma is never "lucky." This is an experience countless sick and disabled people have dealt with with doctors, self included. This character is not portrayed as a victim nor is she portrayed as inspirational, which are often the only fates for those with disabilities. She's a disabled person being human with advantages and struggles. Other stories often also include excretory functions and other fun stuff we often ignore in injury and violence because we are too squeamish or afraid. Yet, disruption of these functions is common in illness, injury, and/or disability and often requires outside help and support from both technologies and human beings. Basically, Hurley has a realistic take on what it likes to be sick and/or disabled that is likely formed by her own experiences.

    Another theme in many stories is that of gender nonconformity, transgender experiences, and straight up cross-gender body swapping. Again, Hurley goes at these themes in a way that separates her from others who either make the story all about the person's gender or who tokenize trans and GNC characters for points with no understanding of gender dynamics. Hurley's portrayal of these characters and societies is unique and fantastical while still holding on to the here and now enough that we can recognize them. LGBTQ and polyamorous women of many kinds are a

    in Hurley's books and stories. This was present across most of the stories in the book. But, the creative ways Hurley explored multiple genders via futuristic or parallel words and multiple stories about body swapping was more present in this book.

    There are a couple of stories that may excite those who have read and enjoyed "The Stars are Legion" and "The Light Brigade." (Possibly others, but I have not read all of her books yet.) They include inspiration for the books or events that predated the narratives in the novels. There are familiar themes of technology combining with flesh in ways that are different from the usually human or android representations. There are themes of colonization and oppression that capture the horrific realities via the medium of fiction. There are repeated occurrences of nonhuman animals used as a vehicle for oppression via the description of their commonplace mistreatment as an excuse for mistreatment of marginalized humans. Hurley manages all of these things in ways I have not experienced in other science fiction and/or fantasy that I have read. There are times when Hurley's messages are heavy handed, which can bother me, but for some reason does not when she does it. There are many other times where the themes and messages are woven intricately in complicated ways throughout the stories, creating the experience of the story as reality, even if it's in space, a parallel world, or a million years in the future.

    If you like Hurley's work, you will likely enjoy this book. If you are unfamiliar with her work, I think this book could be good to dip your toes into it. Overall, it is a good representation of her styles and talent. "Meet Me in the Future: Stories" is due out in August of 2019 and is definitely a recommended read.

  • Ying

    Kameron Hurley is becoming one of my favourite authors, I'm always excited when a new book comes out.

    I would describe this collection as:

    -Diverse (in gender, character's sexual orientation, world building, style, etc)

    -Gritty

    -Post-apocalyptic

    I really loved reading these. I don't think I disliked any of them. The vibe I got from the collection was that these were stories set in universes that perhaps couldn't go further than the short story itself.. like maybe the author didn't know how to expand

    Kameron Hurley is becoming one of my favourite authors, I'm always excited when a new book comes out.

    I would describe this collection as:

    -Diverse (in gender, character's sexual orientation, world building, style, etc)

    -Gritty

    -Post-apocalyptic

    I really loved reading these. I don't think I disliked any of them. The vibe I got from the collection was that these were stories set in universes that perhaps couldn't go further than the short story itself.. like maybe the author didn't know how to expand the universe into a full length book or series, which is why they remain short stories. This isn't to say they were incomplete just.. finished? I also felt like the short story format allowed the author to end the story where it ended rather than keep going in some stories. I did feel like some of the stories could have been expanded a bit more, but I guess then they'd be entering novella territory.

    Nonetheless it was still a great collection. Kameron Hurley is always diverse in their writing style, and as a result every universe is unique. I very easily fell in love with each character. I love the futuristic post-apocalypse style of many of the stories, it's my jam. I did wish there were more happy endings.

  • Serena

    I got this e ARC from Netgalley after requesting it.

    I enjoy short stories or anthologies,"Meet Me in the Future" asks how futures could play out - both ours and for worlds in fiction. What's the future if not something of a reflection of history's many nows, like a glimpse in a mirror or still water, a the kaleidoscope of possibilities, changeable still because every person carries their history and the history of imagined and dreamed stories. A lot of these short stories understandably dance b

    I got this e ARC from Netgalley after requesting it.

    I enjoy short stories or anthologies,"Meet Me in the Future" asks how futures could play out - both ours and for worlds in fiction. What's the future if not something of a reflection of history's many nows, like a glimpse in a mirror or still water, a the kaleidoscope of possibilities, changeable still because every person carries their history and the history of imagined and dreamed stories. A lot of these short stories understandably dance between biology and technology.

    Elephants and Corpses - Nev, a old "body mercenary", someone who if they die in one body can - if they've touched a dead body nearby - swap their "soul" or "spirit" into the dead body and animate it. He holds onto humanity though a animal contact, a elephant and later a turtle given to him by Tera his "body manager". Occult religious business and body mercenary workshop mix and Nev sorts out what he can from the mess left.

    When We Fall - I'd love to have a much longer story on Aisha, a jack of all trades and her fleet of warship's avatars Mirabelle and others of the Komani Enterprises freed by a tomato.

    The Red Secretary - Arkadi negotiates and must make a connection with a soldier who knows their end, because they've killed the enemy and gotten their hands dirty, who hold a weapon hostage, with nothing to lose because the end of the war means all who have bloodied their hands get incinerated.

    The Sinners and the Sea - Arret must choose the truth, the story, he can live with, the one that tells of a sea burying sinners hundreds of years ago and being a Guardian means containing ancinet relics - or that the relics are from people murdered by Guardians only a generation ago, and his people living in the sky survivors chosen by no god at all.

    The Women of Our Occupation- I had a little laugh with this story, when the world Feminazi comes up, likely I'll be showing this story to someone.

    The Fishermen and the Pig- Another Nev story, after living as a old fisherman for years with only a pig and a turtle for company, he gets caught up in a nercomancer plot to bring back the dead with black toxin from a long ago war, although I didn't like Branka's cliffhanger ending.

    Garda-A who done it mystery with a serial killer involving alien "boys" after a future war; focus is on Abijah's divorce to two wives and how she works with Pats, who she's known in that war.

    The Plague Givers - I would love a whole novel on Elzabet Addisalam, swamp dwelling stuffed hydra making former Plague Hunter with her history of a former lover a Plague Giver Hanere, their son Makdas, her partner Kelab -and later Lealez.

    Tumbledown- Sarnai, who got plague as a child and lost her legs and her fathers and mother to it on a alien world where dogs and bears don't seem to look as the ought to, uses a sled to get tumbledown plague serum to a distant village.

    Warped Passages - Malati and pilot and Kariz a engineer are siblings who lost their mother to the anomaly that holds their generation ships of the Legion still, caught in space, trapped, their choices are to change themselves or be changed.

    Our Faces, Radiant Sisters, Our Faces Full Of Light!- Moria follows generations of her mothers, grandmothers, and likely sisters, aunts and other women who fight monsters, for one less monster they'll trade their lives a sacrifice for the promise of generations of women to come.

    Enyo-Enyo -A fascinating dark take on how a ship takes to life among the stars and how time passes and acted out in "snapshots" of different futures.

    The Corpse Archives - Anish and Chiva make and unmake a history of aliens, their people, and their stories written on bodies, textbooks of "history".

    The War of Heroes - Yousra, a midwife, makes a choice to take the war to the alien "heroes" who have made her people monstrous.

    The Light Brigade- The war, a corporate one against aliens, people from Mars who turned barren Earth to free paradise, turned soldier who fight them into light, who can see glimpses of the future and can travel, like light, anywhere - and possibly, any when.

    The Improbable War - Khiv uses the wall, a engine of memory to the souls of soldiers, to fight a old enemy and end war, forever.

  • Acqua

    I could sum up my thoughts about

    by saying that

    the way I find short stories can be.

    These stories are not pretty. They’re not necessarily satisfying.

    , and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the whole purpose of how some of these were written. They’re meant to be shared and talked about, not read and put down, I think.

    I could sum up my thoughts about

    by saying that

    the way I find short stories can be.

    These stories are not pretty. They’re not necessarily satisfying.

    , and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the whole purpose of how some of these were written. They’re meant to be shared and talked about, not read and put down, I think.

    As you’d expect from something Kameron Hurley wrote,

    . War is an element in the past, still casting a shadow on the main character (

    ), it’s something that is seen as inevitable by a society, but is also a direct danger to it (

    , oh had this story a lot to say), or something that is paradoxically seen by some as “bringing civilization” even as it actually destroys it (

    ), something that is always inherently tied to the dehumanization of someone (

    ) and horror, horror, horror as much as an instrument to keep the attention away from the actual enemy (

    – I recommend skipping this one if you want to read the book, however), something that needs to end (

    ).

    Not all of these were anything remarkable when read on their own. Inside the collection, it’s a running thread, and there is for sure a lot to discuss.

    There’s also, of course, a lot of

    . The collection starts with a body-hopping mercenary who happens to be a trans man (

    ), and presents gender as something not tied to bodies, even though still relevant to the person, and continues with stories about violent matriarchies (

    , possibly my least favorite story, I’m not that interested in reading about speculative reverse sexism), stories in which gender is never stated (

    ), stories in which there’s only one gender (

    ), and stories in which there are at least four different genders recognized by the society (

    , my favorite story). In these stories,

    - queer, disabled, brown women are allowed to be all of these things without ever be seen as anything but wholly human, the way a man could be portrayed. The idea that women have to be beautiful is so woven into everything, even everything fictional, that these stories almost feel jarring.

    And, since we’re talking about women and imperfections, here

    . I will always be there for portrayals of queer women that are all but soft and unproblematic; in

    we get a woman who is divorcing from her two wives (if the story had been about that, instead of becoming about a mystery with a main character who wasn’t Nyx but felt exactly like Nyx from the

    series, I would have liked it a lot more), and in

    we get a story about the consequences of a very toxic f/f relationship in a world where magic can bring plague (I loved this one so much).

    There are a couple stories that felt like filler (notably,

    was a completely unnecessary sequel to

    ), but overall,

    ; the average rating might be

    , but

    .

    – 4 stars

    – 4 stars

    – 4 stars

    – 3.5 stars

    – 2 stars

    – 2 stars

    – 3 stars

    – 4.5 stars

    – 4 stars

    – 4 stars

    – 2.5 stars

    – 3 stars

    – 2.5 stars

    – 3.5 stars

    – 4.5 stars

    – 3 stars

  • Patrick St-Denis

    Given how much I enjoyed Kameron Hurley's Apocalypse Nyx last year, you can imagine my enthusiasm when the folks at Tachyon emailed me a digital copy of her upcoming collection of short stories, Meet Me in the Future. It was pure delight to be reunited with Nyx and Rhys, if only for the span of five short fiction pieces. Apocalypse Nyx recaptured everything that made the Bel Dame Apocrypha such a memorable read.

    Meet Me in the Future would be a totally different beast. Collected for the first tim

    Given how much I enjoyed Kameron Hurley's Apocalypse Nyx last year, you can imagine my enthusiasm when the folks at Tachyon emailed me a digital copy of her upcoming collection of short stories, Meet Me in the Future. It was pure delight to be reunited with Nyx and Rhys, if only for the span of five short fiction pieces. Apocalypse Nyx recaptured everything that made the Bel Dame Apocrypha such a memorable read.

    Meet Me in the Future would be a totally different beast. Collected for the first time, here were sixteen disparate short stories that had first appeared in various anthologies and magazines. But with its myriad themes and characters, would the book stand well on its own? Although each novella acted as a stand-alone vignette and was episodic in nature, the five stories that comprised Apocalypse Nyx formed a whole that worked quite well. Indeed, there were enough threads linking them together to create a work that stood well on its own.

    Collecting short fiction pieces from a variety of sources can be tricky. After all, nearly all anthologies and collections of short stories are filled with lackluster material that act as filler to supplement the quality tales. Ye of little faith that I am, I should have known that it wouldn't be the case with Kameron Hurley. Although some are definitely better than others, overall the stories contained within the pages of Meet Me in the Future are all good reads in their own right. Even better, though disparate in style and tone, there are enough recurring themes explored throughout the tales that the book stands rather well on its own.

    Here's the blurb:

    When renegade author Kameron Hurley (The Light Brigade; The Stars Are Legion) takes you to the future, be prepared for the unexpected. Yes, it will be dangerous, frequently brutal, and often devastating. But it’s also savagely funny, deliriously strange, and absolutely brimming with adventure.

    In these edgy, unexpected tales, a body-hopping mercenary avenges his pet elephant, and an orphan falls in love with a sentient starship. Fighters ally to power a reality-bending engine, and a swamp-dwelling introvert tries to save the world—from her plague-casting former wife.

    So come meet Kameron Hurley in the future. The version she’s created here is weirder—and far more hopeful—than you could ever imagine.

    The best aspect of Meet Me in the Future is that it showcases the length and breadth of Kameron Hurley's fertile and unconventional imagination. If you have yet to give the author a shot, this collection of short stories is the perfect opportunity to remedy that sad state of affairs. In the introduction, Hurley explains that she is obsessed with bodies and their problems and disabilities. Which explains why so many of her protagonists are flawed in so many ways. This book also features an enormous amount of diversity, be it in terms of gender non-conformity, sexual orientations, narrative styles, etc.

    And even if the worldbuilding can be quite different from one short story to the next, this facet tends to be grimdark and post-apocalyptic more often than not. The author's fascination with biology, bugs, and technology also colors most of these tales in Hurley's own unique style.

    Can't say much about each short story without spoiling anything, so I will let you have the pleasure of savoring each of them when you read this collection. I will say this, however. Nev, main character of "Elephants and Corpses" and "The Fishermen and the Pig", deserves a novel-length project, if only to discover more about this body mercenary and his/her world. Some really cool stuff in both of those stories, with potential for countless more!

    My favorites include "The Red Secretary", "The Sinners and the Sea", "The Plague Givers", "Tumbledown", and "The War of Heroes". But as I mentioned, every piece offers something different and is worth the read. Even "Enyo-Enyo", which is a veritable mindfuck of a story!

    Meet Me in the Future demonstrates yet again just how gifted and unique an author Kameron Hurley truly is. This is definitely one of the speculative fiction titles to read in 2019. Or any other year, for that matter!

    Here's to hoping that Hurley has more quality stories in the pipeline, for I'd take another such collection every few years. Highly recommended.

    For more reviews, check out

  • Littlebookterror

    This was such a refreshing collection of sci-fi short stories. I love the ideas that were explored no matter how vague or precise and spelled-out. There is something out there for everyone but I can tell you already that it pulls on your heartstrings, engages your mind and is a great conversation starter. I want to delve deeper into all these stories, dissect their meaning and find out what they convey for us personally.

    If you don't want to be spoiled for anything, keep the Introductions to the

    This was such a refreshing collection of sci-fi short stories. I love the ideas that were explored no matter how vague or precise and spelled-out. There is something out there for everyone but I can tell you already that it pulls on your heartstrings, engages your mind and is a great conversation starter. I want to delve deeper into all these stories, dissect their meaning and find out what they convey for us personally.

    If you don't want to be spoiled for anything, keep the Introductions to the end. They will add a lot no matter if you read them first of last.

    // ★★★★✩

    Lovely intro and interesting concept to start with. I want to know so much more about Nev.

    // ★★★★✩

    I feel like the story skipped a few important parts but otherwise, it was good.

    // ★★★★★

    I loved this, it was perfect.

    // ★★★★✩

    This came back around in the end and the idea is super frightening. Terrifying.

    // ★★★★✩

    My emotional response was very strong to this one.

    // ★★★★✩

    Not as interesting as the first story Nev appeared in but the world is just so fascinating.

    // ★★✩✩✩

    I struggled with this one.

    // ★★★★✩

    Oh man, what a tale.

    // ★★★★★

    From the setting to the story, to Sarnai, I loved every bit of this.

    // ★★★★✩

    Again, this was just fascinating. I loved the characters in this one, especially.

    // ★★★★✩

    Short but poignant.

    // ★★★★✩

    A mindfuck but, oh, I freaking loved it.

    // ★★★★✩

    Give me all the feelings about all kinds of things.

    // ★★★✩✩

    This took a turn I didn't expect but I was honestly confused for most parts.

    // ★★★✩✩

    This was good but didn't quite grab me as the other ones did.

    // ★★✩✩✩

    This one was too short for me.

  • Hélène Louise

    Good stories even if I've appreciated some more than others.

    The author's touch is always here, strong women who frequently have jobs, strengths and habits usually gifted to male characters, diverse sexuality and animals - with a special care about them (the reader doesn't need to be afraid that horrible things will happen to them).

    He worlds imagined are all rather harsh and injust, this is not some bedtime stories !

    I took time to read them all, because if all different they have many shared poin

    Good stories even if I've appreciated some more than others.

    The author's touch is always here, strong women who frequently have jobs, strengths and habits usually gifted to male characters, diverse sexuality and animals - with a special care about them (the reader doesn't need to be afraid that horrible things will happen to them).

    He worlds imagined are all rather harsh and injust, this is not some bedtime stories !

    I took time to read them all, because if all different they have many shared points (thanks to the author's personality) and Ì needed to pause regularly, not to get tired.

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