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Amazon Original Short Reads—Forward Collection

collage of 6 book covers from the Amazon original series of short stories in the Forward collection of sci-fi short stories

I came across a few short stories on Amazon last year and loved them. Amazon has commissioned a series of original short stories by prominent writers. These stories are categorised by genre and are only available as digital books on Amazon or as audiobooks on Audible.  

If you have the subscription for Kindle Unlimited, then you can read most of these for free. The narrators on Audible are often celebrities, so that’s something you might consider when choosing which format to get.

The stories are short but impactful. They take you on a journey and make you see the world differently. 

This year, since I’ve committed to reading (listening to) the Wheel of Time series, I haven’t been in the frame of mind to read any other significant book. These short stories have been an excellent palette cleanser.

Each collection has six stories. I am not sure how many I will read, but I’ll update each collection as I go.

The Forward Collection

Forward is a collection of six stories of the near and far future from out-of-this-world authors. 

Emergency Skin by N. K. Jemisin:

I loved the concept of this dystopian world, taking into account all that’s messed up in a Capitalist society. It drops some major truth bombs in a few short pages. 

We left because it would’ve cost too much to fix the world. Cheaper to build a new one.

You Have Arrived at Your Destination by Amor Towles: 

Genetically-altered babies are already being talked about. A lot of scientific research is about what we can do and not enough about IF we should do it. This story takes us inside a premium company that gives you a choice of life you’d want your child to live. But are they revealing all to their high-paying clients? What would you choose?

We are who we are, right? There’s no point in pushing our personalities uphill.

Summer Frost by Blake Crouch: 

The concept of robots taking over the human world has been in circulation for a while now. With all the technological advances in the last decade and the possibilities for more in the next, this story takes us to how the world can change. Riley has dedicated her life to perfecting her idea of an AI being that has managed to gain sentience. Can they trust each other or are humans susceptible to anthropomorphising every species? Can you teach a machine to feel?

Because sometimes life is so rich and complicated and surprising that it takes your breath away.

Ark by Veronica Roth:

How would you live your life if you knew the world was ending in a day or a week? Would it be different if you knew it was ending in 20 years? Samantha has known all her life that the world as people know it is going to be destroyed. The world is unrecognisable and she is part of a team that is helping to preserve samples of as much as possible before doomsday. She can join everyone in the escape ark and live out her life in a spaceship, en route to the next planet, but she has other plans.

There was nothing you could have that you couldn’t one day lose

Randomize by Andy Weir:

This was disappointing, to say the least. It was full of cliches and bad dialogues. A casino manager who’s smart enough to outsmart everyone, but has no clue about a supercomputer that will give the codes to everyone? The cringe cliched life of the Indian couple was too much to handle. The plot was smart but could’ve been made better with some effort.

A system is only as secure as the humans who operate it.

The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay:

This was sci-fi with a tinge of horror almost. The story starts off with a man in a dark room who is learning all basic body movements with the help of a doctor over the speakers. He’s remembering memories that are supposedly his with some audio-visual aids. However, things are not as they seem as we find out in the end.

Your frustration and mistrust melt away as you lose yourself in the undeniable pleasure of remembering.

Note: Some links are part of an affiliate program, which means that if you click on a link and buy something, I might receive a percentage of the sale, at no extra cost to you. 

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