Title: Forbidden Future
Author: James Wymore, Jon Bradbury, Michael Trimmer, James Lauren, Kade Anderson, Terra Harmony, Matt Mitrovich
Publisher: The Masquerade Crew
Genre: sci-fi, time travel, anthology
Find it at: Goodreads, Amazon.
Blurb: “What becomes of mankind in the future? Is life better or worse?”
SOCIETY – Terra Harmony Website, Facebook, Twitter
“Take a ride on the Energy of the Future where society gets a fresh, clean start—no matter who they have to leave behind.” A man from the past enters a hellish future at a time when the Earth is on the brink of destruction.
EXCERPT: I choke on the thick, acrid atmosphere, resisting the urge to gag. Before I even open my eyes, I hear shouting. The voices grow louder as a group of people nears.
“How did he get over the fence?”
“Doesn’t matter — he’s here now. Scan him.”
My eyelids are heavy and crusted over.
“Pigmentation is right, check his blood.”
A sharp prick in my arm, then a machine beeps. “White cell count is low, but meets the threshold.”
BETWEEN UTOPIAS – Michael Trimmer
“After being saved from a fatal heart attack by being transported to the future, David must choose from two opposite utopias.” A modern man gets snatched up to a future that’s supposed to be utopian.
EXCERPT: It wasn’t just the bombs now. The ground shook. The sky brightened. The near-transparent dome of the shield flexed and rippled. It was the bombers themselves, the ones the anti-air sites only clipped. Civilians ran. Debris fell. Soldiers and vehicles waited for orders. With damaged planes, bombs might not drop, but the bombers sure did. Fuselage, fuel tank and all. Smack-bang into the base’s energy shield, complete with payload inside.
FORBIDDEN FUTURE – James Wymore Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
“When a time machine technician working the graveyard shift gets divorce papers from his wife, he decides it’s time to take the machine for a ride — no matter the consequences.” As though a screw was going to stop him from seeing the future.
EXCERPT: O’Brien shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his white lab coat, crossing his arms over his beer gut to gain a little more protection from the stinging rain, which threatened to freeze his extremities. The early dark of a winter evening leeched the joy out of walking from the bus station. When he finally reached the large glass doors of the Institute, he stomped his shoes on the mat to dislodge some of their collected slush.
JUMP – Jon Bradbury Website, Facebook, Twitter
“Jesse Kendall thinks he’s seen it all. He’s about to see more.” A man signs up for an experiment that is more than he expected.
Violet’s voice sounded far away, even though her face loomed just a few inches in front of mine. Her slightly parted lips poised in a faint smile, and her brown eyes sparkled mischievously.
Her face grew tentative. “Jesse?”
I came back down to earth with a metaphorical crash. “Sorry, what?”
Violet’s face regained its delicate appeal. “The priest said you need to put the ring on.”
ROAD TRIP – Matt Mitrovitch Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads
“Four friends drive to a college party and take an unexpected detour into the future.” A stop for $10 a gallon gas leaves a group of kids wondering what the heck is happening.
EXCERPT: “Are we there yet?” Stacey nagged once more.
“Cute,” said Steve. He snapped his fingers against the turn signal as he merged onto the I-55 South. “Three more hours of that and I’m going to drive this car into a tree.”
Stacey giggled in the passenger seat and tapped on the dashboard while eyeing her tall and lanky friend. She combed her black, short hair to the side and pulled her hoodie over her head as she tried to determine just how serious Steve was. “You wouldn’t do it. You love this old piece of junk too much.”
CACOTOPIA – James Lauren
“Kayne Adamson went into suspension to await a cure, but never imagined how long his sleep would last or the world he would awaken into. Is it really the utopia it first appears to be?” One society’s paradise is one man’s misery.
EXCERPT: His eyes opened with painful slowness only to be met by a deep blackness devoid of even a hint of light. The cold bitter air that stung his eyeballs smelled stale, damp, and lifeless. The tingling ends of his nerves made him aware of laying on an ice-cold surface, uncomfortable and unyielding.
He attempted to lift his head but could manage only the slightest of movements. Even if he did manage it, what could he hope to see in this all-encompassing blackness? Worry, magnified by the lack of any kind of visual stimuli, began to gnaw at his mind as it threatened to turn it into panic. Something had gone wrong with the hibernation process. He should be asleep by now, a hair’s breadth from death itself. Or maybe he had gone too far? Had the tumour won and he lay in the afterlife?
THE MOUNTAINS HAVEN’T – Kade Anderson Website, Twitter
“Something is very wrong in the downtrodden town of Dignity and only the town’s Watcher, Julia, can see what it is.” Her job is to watch and record, but she’s growing suspicious that something more is happening.
EXCERPT: Julia: Day 1
The mountains haven’t always been there. The Elders will tell you otherwise, but it’s the truth. I’ve never known a time without them, but I know the story all the same. One morning, the town woke up and there they were— purple shining majesties, or whatever that song lyric is. I never did pay much attention in music class. Music is boring when you’re tone-deaf.
I like the mountains. They’re far enough away to not be threatening, but close enough to break up the monotony of empty sky and emptier dusty land. They don’t provide shade, they don’t provide shelter, and they certainly don’t provide food, but they sure are pretty to look at.
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I enjoyed some of the stories in this anthology more than others, but they all provided their points of interest. A solid collection of time travel stories that readers will enjoy. The only complaint I have? Some of them could have been longer
Find the Forbidden Future Anthology at Goodreads, Amazon.