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We are living in A Punk Rock Future. It seems like it more and more every day! In A Punk Rock Future, twenty-six fantasy and science fiction authors mash up punk rock music and speculative fiction in both near and far future visions. There's a freecycle nation skateboarding and intentional community story, another about a band like The Clash playing a mind-blowing gig on M We are living in A Punk Rock Future. It seems like it more and more every day! In A Punk Rock Future, twenty-six fantasy and science fiction authors mash up punk rock music and speculative fiction in both near and far future visions. There's a freecycle nation skateboarding and intentional community story, another about a band like The Clash playing a mind-blowing gig on Mars, and an anti-fascism flash fiction featuring two amused ravens. And 23 more future punk stories. A Punk Rock Future includes stories from Steven Assarian, Stewart C Baker, Matt Bechtel, Michael Harris Cohen, P.A. Cornell, M. Lopes da Silva, R. K. Duncan, Anthony W. Eichenlaub, Spencer Ellsworth, Maria Haskins, Margaret Killjoy, Jordan Kurella, Priscilla D. Layne, Wendy Nikel, Charles Payseur, Kurt Pankau, Sarah Pinsker, Zandra Renwick, dave ring, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Josh Rountree, Erica L. Satifka, Vaughan Stanger, Marie Vibbert, Dawn Vogel, Izzy Wasserstein, and Corey J. White. Cover design and layout by Eva Heaps.


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We are living in A Punk Rock Future. It seems like it more and more every day! In A Punk Rock Future, twenty-six fantasy and science fiction authors mash up punk rock music and speculative fiction in both near and far future visions. There's a freecycle nation skateboarding and intentional community story, another about a band like The Clash playing a mind-blowing gig on M We are living in A Punk Rock Future. It seems like it more and more every day! In A Punk Rock Future, twenty-six fantasy and science fiction authors mash up punk rock music and speculative fiction in both near and far future visions. There's a freecycle nation skateboarding and intentional community story, another about a band like The Clash playing a mind-blowing gig on Mars, and an anti-fascism flash fiction featuring two amused ravens. And 23 more future punk stories. A Punk Rock Future includes stories from Steven Assarian, Stewart C Baker, Matt Bechtel, Michael Harris Cohen, P.A. Cornell, M. Lopes da Silva, R. K. Duncan, Anthony W. Eichenlaub, Spencer Ellsworth, Maria Haskins, Margaret Killjoy, Jordan Kurella, Priscilla D. Layne, Wendy Nikel, Charles Payseur, Kurt Pankau, Sarah Pinsker, Zandra Renwick, dave ring, Jennifer Lee Rossman, Josh Rountree, Erica L. Satifka, Vaughan Stanger, Marie Vibbert, Dawn Vogel, Izzy Wasserstein, and Corey J. White. Cover design and layout by Eva Heaps.

30 review for A Punk Rock Future

  1. 4 out of 5

    A.C. Wise

    A Punk Rock Future edited by Steve Zisson brings together 25 original stories and one reprint celebrating the spirit of punk – the loud, messy, DIY spirit that shouts back at authority and in no uncertain terms tells it to go fuck itself. The anthology overall is very strong, and a few stories stood out for me that I wanted to highlight. “Make America SK8″ by Zandra Renwick bills itself within the first sentence as “not a story”. Rather it is a slice of life, but a lovely one, about building comm A Punk Rock Future edited by Steve Zisson brings together 25 original stories and one reprint celebrating the spirit of punk – the loud, messy, DIY spirit that shouts back at authority and in no uncertain terms tells it to go fuck itself. The anthology overall is very strong, and a few stories stood out for me that I wanted to highlight. “Make America SK8″ by Zandra Renwick bills itself within the first sentence as “not a story”. Rather it is a slice of life, but a lovely one, about building community and neighbors taking care of each other. Lizzie Longboard runs Freecycle Nation, where people can drop off items they no longer need, recycling them as resources for the rest of the community. The protagonist lands a job there and draws on their resources to help keep the center alive as the government tries to tax it into non-existence. Again, nothing hugely dramatic happens, but it is another reminder of ordinary people’s power to change the world in small ways. “Ghosts Are All of Us” by Spencer Ellsworth is set on Mars, an unforgiving environment leading to many deaths and thus a planet crowded with ghosts. Against this backdrop, punk group Sand & Nothing is asked to play a show for wealthy corporate types who thrill to the idea of slumming it for the evening. Needing the money, Sand & Nothing agree to do the show, but they will do it their way, showing their audience the true spirit of punk. The story deftly explores class and consequence, showing the human cost of progress, as well as the power of music as a means of fighting back. “Deepster Punks” by Maria Haskins is an effective and claustrophobic story that takes place largely beneath the ocean. Becca and Jacob have been partners for a long time. They have personal history and professional history, but after an incident on Ceres that left their friend Petra dead, Becca begins to suspect something is wrong with Jacob, and that he may in fact be responsible for Petra’s death. The story is atmospheric, building a sense of paranoia and distrust amidst striking visuals. Like Ellsworth’s story, it focuses on characters who get a raw deal in the name of corporate greed, and friends who have each other’s backs in fighting against the notion that as mere workers they are disposable. In “Hairstyle and Anarchy” by Anthony W. Eichenlaub, Sophie works for Cheap Chuck’s Haircuts. She hates her boss, but does her job, including regularly cutting and styling the hair of Chester, who she used to know back in her school days. It doesn’t take long for Sophie to notice that there’s something off about Chester. His hair grows at an alarming rate, and his study of the history of punk seems to literally be eating him alive. Sophie’s dissatisfaction with her job and Chester’s search for meaning ultimately dovetail as Sophie retakes control of her life and proves to Chester that punk isn’t meaningless and it does still have the power to create change. “Fury’s Hour” by Josh Rountree shares similarities with Renwick’s story in that is centers around a community looking out for each other, helping vulnerable members of society who are down on their luck. Joe is one such member who meets up with Vinnie, a man who offers him food and shelter, only asking in exchange that Joe attend his church. No traditional religion, Vinnie’s church is a church of punk that believes in the second coming of legendary musician Joe Strummer – a second coming that might just be embodied in Joe. Rountree uses music to explore the power of symbols, the nature of belief, and the idea that sometimes the truth of a story is far less important than the fact that it gives people hope. In “Vinyl Wisdom” by P.A. Cornell, Joe lives with his grandfather, John, scavenging remnants of the old world, and doing their best to care for the other members of their community. John lost Joe’s mother to the City, a place that asks people to give up a piece of themselves in exchange for a life of comfort and opportunity. John fears he will lose Joe the same way, and Joe for his part is torn, loving his grandfather, but seeing him as stuck in the past, and wanting to forge his own path through life. It’s a beautiful story about family and all the complications that come with it, the gap between generations, and people trying to do what’s best for those you love without hurting them in the process. “Music for an Electronic Body” by R.K. Duncan presents a world where humans can transfer into electronic bodies that never get sick. Rob is one such transfer, not by choice though, and with an insurance company-issued body that has taken away his ability to properly enjoy music. That is until a fellow member of the sad robot club support group introduces him to music designed specifically for people like him. Duncan’s is one of the few stories in the anthology that doesn’t necessarily end on a hopeful note, but it is effective, occasionally eerie, and full of beautiful and visceral descriptions of music’s transformative power.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ken Tretler

    “It’s time for a change,” says one of the main characters in Anthony W. Eichenlaub’s “Hairstyle and Anarchy” from A Punk Rock Future, an excellent anthology of sci-fi and fantasy stories edited by Steve Zisson. “I don’t know what’s going to rise from the ashes, and nobody knows who’s going to fix what’s broken. All I know is what’s happening now ain’t working. It’s broken and the hell if I know how to fix it.” Those words capture the feel of this entire collection of great takes on punk music, at “It’s time for a change,” says one of the main characters in Anthony W. Eichenlaub’s “Hairstyle and Anarchy” from A Punk Rock Future, an excellent anthology of sci-fi and fantasy stories edited by Steve Zisson. “I don’t know what’s going to rise from the ashes, and nobody knows who’s going to fix what’s broken. All I know is what’s happening now ain’t working. It’s broken and the hell if I know how to fix it.” Those words capture the feel of this entire collection of great takes on punk music, attitude, style, politics and anger. And they’re timely as hell, given the increasingly dystopic times the US of A finds itself in today. “The more I studied history of the last hundred years, the more I saw that punk preceded change. Always.” That’s the other major character in Eichenlaub’s story talking, the guy who uses a holographic time machine to visit punk movements and concerts in an effort to understand punk at its deepest core. So where is the punk of today? And of the future? Will it bubble up and precede change? Will it bring on revolutions? I don’t know, but the authors in A Punk Rock Future have some ideas.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Frances

    A fantastic collection with a great range of stories; while I loved some more than others I thought the baseline in this was really high. Highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Nazzaro

    I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of A Punk Rock Future, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with this anthology of 26 fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories with a punk rock bent. I particularly liked that the anthology was bookended by stories about punk bands traveling through dystopic Americas in vans that break down, one in Iowa and in the other story, the Southwest. The book’s first story, “Trial and Terror,” by Erica L. Satifka was my favorite in the anthology. Will the band g I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of A Punk Rock Future, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with this anthology of 26 fantasy, science fiction, and horror stories with a punk rock bent. I particularly liked that the anthology was bookended by stories about punk bands traveling through dystopic Americas in vans that break down, one in Iowa and in the other story, the Southwest. The book’s first story, “Trial and Terror,” by Erica L. Satifka was my favorite in the anthology. Will the band get out of Iowa alive? Satifka’s story is hopeful in the end as is last story in the book, “You Can’t Kill Polka.” The book is filled with stories from some of the hottest writers in science fiction and fantasy as well as newcomers and up-and-comers, who all give their varied takes on punk rock futures. There are stories I really loved from: Sarah Pinsker, Margaret Killjoy, Michael Harris Cohen, Spencer Ellsworth, Maria Haskins, Zandra Renwick, Corey White, Marie Vibbert and Izzy Wasserstein. When I finished the anthology, I was left with a feeling of hope despite some bleak scenarios. Is this hopepunk? Maybe a few stories. But maybe it’s part punk punk, too.

  5. 5 out of 5

    morelosttime

    This is an entertaining read that also calls attention to the value of anthologies based on a thoughtful, timely theme. It seems more common that fiction anthology collect stories by a single author, celebrate notable works of the past year, or gather content from a single publication in a second effort to generate revenue. In contrast, “A Punk Rock Future” brings together brief stories that consider a near or distant future and the place punk rock may have then. It’s refreshing to read science fi This is an entertaining read that also calls attention to the value of anthologies based on a thoughtful, timely theme. It seems more common that fiction anthology collect stories by a single author, celebrate notable works of the past year, or gather content from a single publication in a second effort to generate revenue. In contrast, “A Punk Rock Future” brings together brief stories that consider a near or distant future and the place punk rock may have then. It’s refreshing to read science fiction that, instead of taking on life, the universe and everything, is content to use such inevitabilities as background in its more primary consideration of the role of one art form in culture. What are the ways in which it enriches lives and how can that evolve alongside other change? Stories that stand out: Maria Haskins’ “Deepster Punks,” and RK Duncan’s “Music for an Electronic Body.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    This was a really fun indie anthology that embody all the different aspects of the punk spirit, even the ones that contradict some of the other ones. Some are shorter than Minor Threat songs, some as snarky as Propagandhi, some as introspective and personal as Osker. Overall it's a solid SFF anthology with some great established names and interesting new ones. You should definitely pick it up pick it up pick it up pick it uppickitup This was a really fun indie anthology that embody all the different aspects of the punk spirit, even the ones that contradict some of the other ones. Some are shorter than Minor Threat songs, some as snarky as Propagandhi, some as introspective and personal as Osker. Overall it's a solid SFF anthology with some great established names and interesting new ones. You should definitely pick it up pick it up pick it up pick it uppickitup

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike MacDonald

    The stories in A Punk Rock Future are a visceral reaction to the 2016 election. Most of the sci-fi stories are near future and my favorite is “Make America Sk8” by Zandra Renwick. In it, the community really comes together for each other. That spirit, which permeates this anthology, will hopefully mean brighter days after the 2020 election!

  8. 5 out of 5

    CJ Jones

    This anthology made me nostalgic for 'the good old days, back when punk was real punk!' But it also made me want to act. As befits their inspiration, the stories are short and punchy--sometimes surprisingly short. I bought it for Dawn Vogel's contribution, but was really impressed by the quality of workmanship all the way through. This anthology made me nostalgic for 'the good old days, back when punk was real punk!' But it also made me want to act. As befits their inspiration, the stories are short and punchy--sometimes surprisingly short. I bought it for Dawn Vogel's contribution, but was really impressed by the quality of workmanship all the way through.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jon Wilcox

    I finished several of the short stories. Some were better than others. I just lost interest for now and it was due back to the library. Maybe I'll pick it up again some time and read some more of the stories. I finished several of the short stories. Some were better than others. I just lost interest for now and it was due back to the library. Maybe I'll pick it up again some time and read some more of the stories.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Scott Flowers

    Didn't finish this. I found it boring. Didn't finish this. I found it boring.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Renee LaForce

    I don’t typically read sci fi but this book mashes punk rock with sci fi to create futures that are strangely hopeful! A great read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    A

    This anthology explores punk rock culture in various futures. There are a number of great authors and great stories in here. Futures tend towards a variety of gritty dystopias. Overall, the stories are mostly pretty short, just like the punk songs the authors revere. As usual I enjoyed some more than others. I personally enjoyed “A Song Transmuted” by Sarah Pinkser and “Dance of the Tinboot Fairy” by Charles Payseur the most. “A Song Transmuted” is a very intimate story about a musician that uses This anthology explores punk rock culture in various futures. There are a number of great authors and great stories in here. Futures tend towards a variety of gritty dystopias. Overall, the stories are mostly pretty short, just like the punk songs the authors revere. As usual I enjoyed some more than others. I personally enjoyed “A Song Transmuted” by Sarah Pinkser and “Dance of the Tinboot Fairy” by Charles Payseur the most. “A Song Transmuted” is a very intimate story about a musician that uses technology to create a new musical instrument. Sarah does a great job making you feel for the character and makes you think about how music may change in the future. She is probably the only writer I’ve read that can convey what it’s like to be a musician. “Dance of the Tinboot Fairy” is a hallucinatory story about teen rebellion during what seems to be a civil war. What really stuck out to me was the feel of it. Reading it was like if Ray Bradbury wrote rebellious queer SF. I can imagine this story being a part of Martian Chronicles. It has a very interesting retro vibe to it that I don’t see very often. One of the things I really enjoyed about both of these stories is that they didn’t go out of the way to name drop punk bands, and they didn’t feel forced. I did feel that way about a few of the others, but even with that small complaint, I thought all the stories were of a decent quality. Buy this book if you like music in your SF, like apocalyptic fiction, feel the need for some rebellion. For more reviews like this check out our podcast at https://itgodp.libsyn.com/

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christian-Rolf Grün

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Aleo

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chuck

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jay Kumar

  17. 5 out of 5

    Keith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pascal Thiel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Patty

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Eichenlaub

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ikigeg

  24. 5 out of 5

    Josh Olenberg-Meltzer

  25. 4 out of 5

    Josh

  26. 4 out of 5

    Trish Salah

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dave

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maria Haskins

  29. 4 out of 5

    GiuseppeT

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martin

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