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Double Review: Earth 2100 Anthology

Earth 2100

Genre: Science Fiction, Near Future

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay, Lesbian, Non-Binary

Reviewer: Ulysses, Maryann

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About The Book

Earth on the Cusp of the Twenty-Second Century

Just think how the world has changed in the last seventy-six years. In 1948, scientists ran the first computer program, and “the Ultimate Car of the Future,” the futuristic, three wheeled Davis Divan, debuted. Since then, a succession of inventions—the personal computer, the internet, the World Wide Web, smart phones and social media—have transformed every aspect of our lives.

How might the next seventy-six years change us, in ways we can barely even begin to imagine, as culture, climate change, politics and technology continue to reshape the world? Earth in 2100 will be as unrecognizable to us as today would be to someone from 1948.

Eighteen writers tackled this challenge, serving up an amazing array of sci-fi possibilities. From emotional AI’s to photosynthetic children, from virtual worlds to a post-urban society, our writers serve up compelling slices of life from an Earth that’s just around the corner.

So dive in and and take a wild ride into these amazing visions of our collective future.

The Review


Earth 2100 is another powerful gathering of focused sci-fi stories by eighteen gifted writers who come at the topic from a range of viewpoints. There is no way to simply review such a variety, other than to say that every story captured my emotions and my imagination. The editorial input from OWI was clearly instrumental in corralling such a diverse group of stories into a coherent, high-quality thematic whole.Obviously, any reader will have his/her favorites. I’ll make a note when I come to one of those.

The intention behind this anthology was to present optimistic visions of the world at the turn of the next century; but I have to note that most of these visions are, if you think about it, pretty bleak. Clearly, for authors who embrace the issues of climate change and humanity’s role in that problem, there are not a great many rosy scenarios.

Tin Lizzy, by Gail Brown – Celina, a woman disabled in a hiking accident, embraces technology to give her back her active life.

The Children of the Field, by E.E. King and Richard Lau –A woman writes to her daughter Emily about her grandmother, also Emily, and her life-partner Shari. She relates the story of how these amazing women saved the world with their scientific creativity, using nature to heal nature. Ultimately, it is about sacrificing the self for the good of everyone.

Arcade Juju, by Isaiah Hunt – This sly, future-non-specific story focuses on a group of young people of color trying to honor their beloved aunt Rhianna with a high-tech digital experience at the Arcade Juju in Cleveland. In this future, technology offers escape and immersion, helping people forget the present.

Loneliness Calling to Loneliness, by Morgan Melhuish – A touching, lyrical fantasy about a lonely pollinator drone connecting to an equally lonely young human, both of them returning to the surface of a rejuvenated earth after longterm isolation underground.

Heads or Tails, by Joseph Sidari – A would-be reporter at The New York Post interviews the pilot of a Ground Level Ozone Transporter (i.e. air scrubber) after she experiences an encounter with an alien. A wry message about letting your career goals distract you from the true importance of a story.

Exo, by K.B. Willson – A poignant story about two women friends, both pregnant, one of whom has elected to leave the earth for life off-planet, while the other is planning on toughing it out on the surface.

If-World, by Mike Jack Stoumbos – Malcolm prepares himself to follow most of the world’s population into a virtual-life stasis that offers escape from reality.

Thirty-Five Hours, by Nathan Bowen – Martin has been caught logging overtime in the virtual world, and is required to attend a “virtual reality awareness” course. I found this simple little tale a rather touching reminder of the importance of human interaction.

Burden on the Earth, by Jennifer R. Povey – A somewhat dark musing on a world divided by habitat: those who have elected to move into highly-controlled “arcologies,” and hide from the ongoing problems of life on earth; versus the adaptors, who continue to live on the ground and make discoveries that, in the end, might just transform the planet back into something worth living in.

The Grandmother Tree, by Eve Morton – Both poetic and bleak, this is the story of a post-apocalyptic nomadic tribe, who discover a lone tree growing on a plain, and with it find hope for the future.

The Parable of the Talents, by Tim Newton Anderson – A darkly humorous future story in which human problems on earth have been solved, and humans simply need to do whatever it is they’ve got the skillset to do. Eamonn discovers, to his dismay, that he has no talents of any kind. What is he supposed to do?

The Kindness of Jaguars, by Monica Joyce Evans – A strange, amusing, and thoughtful fable set in an apparently re-grown world. Silar, the CEO of a firm that specializes in lab-grown meat that has eliminated all animal killing, is challenged by an angry teenager over the lives of a few dozen geese.

Sing the Chorus, by Elizabeth Broadbent – Cygnet looks like an ordinary young man, living alone on the beach. He meets a troubled young woman named Ever. He has never had a friend, and she has never met the AI android who, quite literally, has been programmed to save the world. I loved this one, although I yearned for a same-sex scenario. I could fall for Cygnet.

Crush Depth, by Blake Jessop – Merriweather is a bathyscaphe pilot, searching the depths of an underwater earth in an ongoing effort to find ways to salvage what’s left of the atmosphere. She takes on another oceanographer, Sato, and together they look for places to scatter iron seeds. It’s an endearing story, darkened by the vision of an earth in which the ruined towers of Manhattan are far below the surface of the ocean.

Synthetic Divide, by Joseph Welch – The title is the name of a support group designed for people who have opted to abandon their human bodies for android bodies. Have they traded humanity for eternity? Sweet and a little eerie.

Testing Day, by D.M. Rasch – Short and sweet, I loved this story, which tracks two young people as they enter a testing facility to determine where they will go next in their lives. Their connection is strong, and the question is whether bureaucracy will realize that.

The Last Human Heart, by J. Scott Coatsworth – This is the bleakest of these stories, and yet, oddly, the most emotionally profound. A largely bionic young man, whose only human part is his failing heart, desperately seeks a replacement in the blasted landscape of a ruined planet. He reminisces about his life as a young gay man before everything changed. This one made me a little weepy.

From the Dunes to the Stars, by Christopher R. Muscato – This was the most optimistic story, and touches on cultural realities that go far beyond those of typical sci-fi stories. Taderfit, a young Imazighen woman (people formerly known as Berger) whose family runs a prosperous trade route based in North Africa. They live in a space-station far above the earth. The Tamazight speaking people have adapted to the modern world, but have kept their culture alive. Taderfit, however, has her own ambitions.


Heads or Tails, by Joseph Sidari: Woodward, better known as Woody, would like to think he’s a reporter for the New York Post, but he does more fetching coffee than actual reporting. His manager, Olivia Taylor, is giving him a chance with the crazies and wackos that might have stories.

He meets a scubber driver by the name of Kailani Manolo, aka Lani, who claims she doesn’t want to be blamed for the world being destroyed. She blames a two-faced alien for the glowing doomsday tattoo on her forearm has a weird clock face with multiple hands. When the hands all point straight up, the Aliens will return to decide the fate of the human race. When all is said and done and the fate of the world is in the aliens hands, will Woody get his story published? Or will it be too late?

An entertaining and informative tale about taking care of the environment and the fate of the planet.

The Parable of the Talents, by Tim Newton Anderson: Eamonn Pemberton lives in a world that guarantees there’s a place for everyone that has a talent. But the results of his test results show that he doesn’t have one. His friends start to ignore him, and strangers won’t give him the time of day. Eamonn starts to see things differently, and decides to look into the decision on his test results. He believes in himself, and that he does have a talent. Will he be ignored, or find a place that he will fit?

A story about not giving up, believing in yourself and having self worth.

The Last Human Heart, by J. Scott Coatsworth: David has memories of Erik, who downloaded to the core long before. He truly misses Erik. Now at eighty, David lives as a Cyborg, and only some of his parts are still human – like his heart.

Besides his memories of Erik, he has memories of fighting a war beside his metal brothers and sisters. Now the world is damaged and desolate, and those that survived are known as Remainers.

David’s human heart is slowly giving out. He starts his travels in Turlock, California heading to the trading station in Sacramento to replace his heart. In his travels, he comes across a white stag. There’s something familiar about it. In a world that’s basically barren, David follows the stag into a surprising, mysterious forrest.

When David reaches his destination, he meets the Collector and finds he is now in what was once upstate New York. The Collector has a heart that he will gladly trade for David’s old one and his human memories. Will David take that chance? And what will he discover?

The Last Human Heart was a little sad, as David seeks out a new heart. Even a new heart wouldn’t stop his loneliness. But maybe there’s hope for David, once he decides about his heart.

Coatsworth always knows how to select talented authors with interesting and entertaining stories. Earth 2100 has eighteen short stories from various authors. There’s something here for everyone!

The Reviewer


Ulysses Grant Dietz grew up in Syracuse, New York, where his Leave It to Beaver life was enlivened by his fascination with vampires, from Bela Lugosi to Barnabas Collins. He studied French at Yale, and was trained to be a museum curator at the University of Delaware. A curator since 1980, Ulysses has never stopped writing fiction for the sheer pleasure of it. He created the character of Desmond Beckwith in 1988 as his personal response to Anne Rice’s landmark novels. Alyson Books released his first novel, Desmond, in 1998. Vampire in Suburbia, the sequel to Desmond, is his second novel.

Ulysses lives in suburban New Jersey with his husband of over 41 years and their two almost-grown children.

By the way, the name Ulysses was not his parents’ idea of a joke: he is a great-great grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, and his mother was the President’s last living great-grandchild. Every year on April 27 he gives a speech at Grant’s Tomb in New York City.


Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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