Crime and Punishment: A Speculative Fiction Anthology #bookreviews @MikeH5856

There will always be crime. 51Qi9jSRpqL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_

There will always be those who covet what others possess, or who are driven to acts of violence through rage or cynical design. And there will always be those who seek justice for those crimes. Yet justice is in the eye of the beholder, and rarely does it come easy.

A bounty hunter, whose own freedom depends on him finding those who must have theirs taken away, never asks why. Or what will happen to those he captures. But when he is sent back to his home planet to hunt a child and her family, he must confront the horror of his past and question whether he can ever truly be free.

A woman holds a gun to a man’s head, getting ready to pull the trigger. But her story doesn’t start there. It starts way back when she was a kid, in outback Australia. It starts when the government began to put bombs in people’s heads. When they started toying with probability-based punishment. Now, when she pulls that trigger, she doesn’t know if he’ll live or die. Or live and die.

In the near future, where the internet has evolved into the Mind, and become so complex that content is served preprocessed and digested by personal assistant AIs, independent thought is a thing of the past, a crime even. When insurgents appear, persuading people to see the truth, a police captain begins to question where her allegiance truly lies.

A young woman who has lost everything but her soul fights to reclaim her life from a violent, sadistic criminal. But when she’s given a chance for freedom, she realises escape is not enough. First, a just punishment must be exacted for crimes committed.

Eight stories that push the boundaries of what justice the future holds by some of the most exciting new speculative fiction authors writing today. –

What a dark, thought-provoking read – and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Several of these authors I’ve read before, a few were new to me, but even though the theme was the same, all the stories were diverse and compelling.  Those that impacted me most were:

Atonement by Lucas Bale:  As someone who buys his freedom by being a bounty hunter, Lahm faces some hard realities and attempts to rectify actions in his past.

Bang Bang by S. Elliot Brandis:  Given the current political climate in this country, this story is arguably a horrifying, ominous glimpse of the future rather than speculative fiction – a chilling, provocative read.

The Marque by Michael Patrick Hicks:  Sometimes we make choices based on survival, but we then must live with the consequences of those choices.  In this story, Darrel Fines must determine the type of man he really is.

Don’t skip the foreword by Samuel Peralta – a very apt description of karma.

I received a digital copy of this book from one of the authors in exchange for an honest review.

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