Fans today may be surprised to learn Scott Russell Sanders was one of the brightest science-fiction newcomers of the 1980s. In Dancing in Dreamtime, he returns to his roots, exploring both inner and outer space in a speculative collection of short stories. At a time when humankind faces unprecedented, global-scale challenges from climate change, loss of biodiversity, dwindling vital resources, and widespread wars, this collection of planetary tales will strike a poignant chord with the reader. Sanders has created worlds where death tolls rise due to dream deprivation, where animals only exist in mechanical form, and where poisoned air forces people to live in biodomes. Never before has Sanders’s writing been so relevant and never before have the lessons in these stories been so important.
The Anatomy Lesson
The First Journey of Jason Moss
The Artist of Hunger
The Engineer of Beasts
The Circus Animals’ Desertion
Mountains of Memory
Touch the Earth
The Audubon Effect
The Land Where Songtrees Grow
Travels in the Interior
Dancing in Dreamtime
These brilliant stories explore birds who’ve time-warped to avoid extinction on earth, and people who long for both tidiness and the wilds. Human innovation and destruction are at the center of all these tales, which leave reality in order to return readers to this planet we’ve ravaged, more awake to ecological catastrophe, and our earth and its peoples who are ravenous and yearning and not-yet ruined. These fictions both delight and warn.
author of And Yet It Moves
The stories in Dancing in Dreamtime are familiar enough to make your heart ache and new enough to feel fresh and wondrous. Here you will find people connecting and falling apart as people have always connected and fallen apart, but beneath a fantastical and occasionally terrifying sky.
Carmen Maria Machado
Though Scott Russell Sanders is best known today as an essayist and conservationist, he previously was one of the brightest science-fiction newcomers of the 1980s, and his incisive, playful, startling stories–which speak directly to our 21st-century environmental and genetic concerns-were staples of Omni, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. To have virtually all this material back in print in a single collection is a joy. Whether you knew it or not, you’ve had a space on your shelf all these years, waiting to be filled by Dancing in Dreamtime.
author of The Pottawatomie Giant and Other Stories
Dancing in Dreamtime sparks with brilliant imagery, from a city where dreams roost in trees and the destruction of their habitat threatens the inhabitants' sanity, to a circus where robotic pandas play organ music and tigers blink with neon stripes. These are stories of people subjected to the dreams of others, reminders that our best fantasies have unintended consequences. They dream our doom, they dream our possible salvation, they draw us further into the dance.
author of Bearded Women: Stories
Although the stories in Scott Russell Sanders's new collection, Dancing in Dreamtime, often portray futuristic worlds, they always hold a mirror to our contemporary society in a way that allows us to see ourselves and our present time more clearly. Wildly imaginative and haunting, these stories are the stuff of dreams, yes, but they also have much to show us about who we are in the here and now.
author of The Bright Forever
As these enchanting stories examine how technologies and advancements disconnect us and create chaos, Sanders always shows that we will persevere with our own kind of hope, our own kind of love, and our own kind of heart.
author of Everyone Here Has a Gun
Scott Russell Sanders is certainly best known as one of our finest essayists. What is less known—and likely more surprising—is that he was once also an artful author of science fiction. We should all rejoice that these stories have at last been collected in Dancing in Dreamtime. Sanders is the Alice Munro of science fiction, and these quiet, lyrical stories covering his career in the genre offer all the necessary proof. Highly recommended.
author of Shadowbridge
Clear-eyed and philosophical, Sanders's vision of our collective undoing, and how we salvage the pieces, mixes intellectualism with magical realism in an uncommon unity of mind and spirit.