Imagine a world populated by hideous trolls, time-traveling scientists, and intergalactic freighter captains—with smartphones and social media.
The World of Dew and Other Stories, chosen by Michelle Pretorius as the 2020 Blue Light Books Prize winner, invites readers into 18 different universes that have unexpected resonances with our own modern life. While these tales are unabashedly sci-fi and fantasy, Julian Mortimer Smith approaches each at a curious angle. Ghosts are cataloged using a Pokémon Go–like app, a soldier has to get enough upvotes on social media before he is allowed to take a shot, and a golden age of cooperation begins as societies around the world prepare for a looming pandemic of blindness. In addition to featuring stories that have appeared in some of the world's top speculative fiction outlets, The World of Dew and Other Stories also includes five new stories published here for the first time.
These tales are sometimes terrifying, sometimes touching, sometimes provocative, and occasionally very silly. They function both as windows through which readers can glimpse vast universes waiting to be explored and as mirrors reflecting our own reality back at us in a strange and unfamiliar light.