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The Future Second By Second (The Shelter Trilogy #1)

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In a new America where civilization as we know it has ended, every hour counts. Everything is ticking along perfectly in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent on violence. Vasha has led her people through the worst the world has to offer for years, but this new threat could destroy her hope for the future. She’s forced to strike a bargain w In a new America where civilization as we know it has ended, every hour counts. Everything is ticking along perfectly in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent on violence. Vasha has led her people through the worst the world has to offer for years, but this new threat could destroy her hope for the future. She’s forced to strike a bargain with the leader of the raiders as tensions rise among the survivors and refugees who call Osto home. Old rivalries and prejudices put everything they’ve worked for at risk. But if Vasha plays this right, she just might forge a new future for Osto. The Future Second by Second is the first in a series of novellas showcasing a different kind of post-apocalyptic world—one dependent on community and cooperative living. Flipping the genre of dystopia on its head, Newton understands the power of hope and collaboration in the face of an uncertain future.


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In a new America where civilization as we know it has ended, every hour counts. Everything is ticking along perfectly in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent on violence. Vasha has led her people through the worst the world has to offer for years, but this new threat could destroy her hope for the future. She’s forced to strike a bargain w In a new America where civilization as we know it has ended, every hour counts. Everything is ticking along perfectly in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent on violence. Vasha has led her people through the worst the world has to offer for years, but this new threat could destroy her hope for the future. She’s forced to strike a bargain with the leader of the raiders as tensions rise among the survivors and refugees who call Osto home. Old rivalries and prejudices put everything they’ve worked for at risk. But if Vasha plays this right, she just might forge a new future for Osto. The Future Second by Second is the first in a series of novellas showcasing a different kind of post-apocalyptic world—one dependent on community and cooperative living. Flipping the genre of dystopia on its head, Newton understands the power of hope and collaboration in the face of an uncertain future.

30 review for The Future Second By Second (The Shelter Trilogy #1)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lata

    A quiet, thoughtful and thought-provoking story about a dystopian world where relying on others and forming communities are the key to survival and thriving in a difficult world. The community of Osto has been an island of safety and relative plenty for many years. Vasha, the current administrator, has ensured that the community has what it needs in food, security, and even art. Osto has also withstood numerous raids by violent bands, closing the doors of their large, sturdy building, where most A quiet, thoughtful and thought-provoking story about a dystopian world where relying on others and forming communities are the key to survival and thriving in a difficult world. The community of Osto has been an island of safety and relative plenty for many years. Vasha, the current administrator, has ensured that the community has what it needs in food, security, and even art. Osto has also withstood numerous raids by violent bands, closing the doors of their large, sturdy building, where most of Osto lives. When a new band threatens Osto, Vasha decides to try something different, rather than simply let the current band of Esteben's Men lay siege to the settlement. She invites them in, and gives them a condition: Drake, the leader, can manage Osto for one day, and at the end of the day, the villagers and the raiders can vote for who they want to manage Osto. Despite it seeming a rash and very risky thing to do, Vasha senses something in Drake that gives her the sense that Osto will not fall to this band. Also, Drake very quickly runs afoul of the arrangements and the various routines and balances Osto's people have created over many years. The night's vote is suitably tense as, despite trusting in Vasha, I still worried about how things would turn out. (The story's title cleverly highlights the importance of time to the tale, as well as the tension over the vote's outcome, and to how clocks figure in the story.) This book was such a pleasant surprise. Though we only get one window into this difficult and harsh world, the conflicts within Osto as well as those between the raiders and Osto are rich with story possibilities. Vasha proves herself to be remarkably canny at reading people's intentions; though there are some misunderstandings between the two groups resulting in violence, the whole story provides an unusual take on a dystopia. Instead of taking the obvious route of bloodbaths, we have people talking and trying to connect and understand one another. It's refreshing. The cast of characters is large, and we really only get good insight into Vasha, with her worries and concerns. Author Meridel Newton does spend some time with a few of the other characters, but as this is the start of a story, I hope the author delves deeper into the characters I became fond of over the course of the novella, such as Ahmed and Amaya. Thank you to Netgalley and to Interstellar Flight Press for this ARC in exchange for my review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sandra "Jeanz"

    It was the book cover that initially drew my attention to this book, first of all the bright colours and then on closer inspection, the clock face with the bright orangey-red flowers in front of it. It’s only when you have read the book that you realise the relevance of the cover to the story. This book cover would certainly encourage me to click on it online or pick it up in a bookstore to learn more about it by reading the blurb. I do enjoy the genres of Sci-Fi & Fantasy genres with some myste It was the book cover that initially drew my attention to this book, first of all the bright colours and then on closer inspection, the clock face with the bright orangey-red flowers in front of it. It’s only when you have read the book that you realise the relevance of the cover to the story. This book cover would certainly encourage me to click on it online or pick it up in a bookstore to learn more about it by reading the blurb. I do enjoy the genres of Sci-Fi & Fantasy genres with some mystery & thriller elements thrown in and recently discovered that I really enjoy reading books that are also categorised as literary fiction. As this book has all that together I was looking forward to a great read. The main characters live together in what was once a decent sized warehouse in the “before.” Without going into much detail, as I do not want to give away very much with this being only novella length. The world has gone through an event that means there is no electricity, in fact, living is pretty primitive and is a rather back to basics way of life. This area where the main characters are based is called Osto. The leader of Osto is a woman called Vasha who walks with a cane due to being born with a club foot. Vasha inherited the job of leader from her father and she has led the people of Osto ever since. Vasha does not look like a “typical leader” to those who do not really know her. It is that very mistake that the leader, Drake of the gang of raiders known as the “Men of Esteben” makes. When his men gather to take what they want from Osto as they have done in other areas, Vasha and her people initially hid in the old fortified warehouse. When it becomes apparent neither side is willing to back down, Vasha offers Drake and the Men of Esteben a deal. Drake may rule Osto for the next 15 hours, at the end of this time there will be a vote to see who the people of Osto want to be their leader. Everyone in Osto and all the Men of Esteben will be able to cast a vote. Drake laughs and thinks that he can easily lead the people of Osto as he leads his band of rough, tough men. Drake feels confident that he will do a much better job than this old disabled women in front of him. Drake soon realises that leading Osto is not as easy as he thought it would be, in fact, its much more difficult than leading his men. The people of Osto each have their own strengths and skills which are put to good use in relevant jobs. Drake is used to his men doing whatever he says, when the people of Osto try to explain to him that they have their own skills/jobs Drake demands that they just do as they are told or they will suffer the consequences. One of my favourite characters was of course Vasha, who turned out to be a very wise woman, though she certainly takes a risk allowing Drake to lead her people. In fact, there are a few occasions during his leadership that she seriously regrets her offer. Another resident of Osto I became quickly attached to was Ben who worked in the kitchen, making food for the people of Osto to eat in between their working. Although Drake is the leader of the raiders known as the cruel, unyielding Men of Esteben who take what they want and kill anyone who stands in their way, I honestly did end up sort of warming to him. I seriously wanted to grab him and roughly shake him or knock some sense into him whilst he was ruling Osto. The novella is really well written, it felt like it was really fast paced as there is always either some action or drama going on. Despite the people living in a world without electricity and “old world” modern comforts, there are still the frictions from before, with certain families having their feuds and arguments between them. The reasoning behind the title is revealed whilst reading the book. Each chapter has a time, ie the first chapter is labelled at 8am, and the last chapter heading is 12am. Basically the chapters being like this fits really well with the concept of Drake being trialled as a leader of Osto for 15 hours. My immediate thoughts upon finishing the novella were that I had truly enjoyed it, and was disappointed it had ended. I wished it had been longer. So, it is fair to say I am genuinely looking forward to reading more of The Shelter Trilogy. Summing up I feel I should point out that this is a novella length book, so is quite short. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and am looking forward to reading the other two parts of The Shelter Trilogy. I am wondering whether to wait and hope all three novellas will be combined into one book or not. This book has great characters you easily become attached to, even some of the “bad” guys! It also has a well developed plot and clever world building. I honestly loved it and would seriously like to read a lot more about this world, the setting of Osto and its characters.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Smith

    The Future Second By Second is a thought provoking dystopian novella exploring what life and strong leadership should look like in a post-apocalyptic world. Ideologies collide as the future of the Osto community is decided over 15 hours. I did not find anything too surprising in the overall plot, but the setting and use of multiple perspectives make this a rich experience. This book is a solid read if you are looking for an interesting thought experiment set in a dystopian world. The first chill The Future Second By Second is a thought provoking dystopian novella exploring what life and strong leadership should look like in a post-apocalyptic world. Ideologies collide as the future of the Osto community is decided over 15 hours. I did not find anything too surprising in the overall plot, but the setting and use of multiple perspectives make this a rich experience. This book is a solid read if you are looking for an interesting thought experiment set in a dystopian world. The first chills of winter have begun to set in as the village of Osto scrambles to bring in the last of the harvest. A storm is brewing and whatever is not brought in by the end of the day will almost certainly be lost in the onslaught. Meanwhile, two of the village teens have run off together in their own rendition of Romeo and Juliet. Just another demanding day for village leader Vasha, but nothing she can’t handle. Then the raiders show up. Not just any raiders, but “Esteben’s Men”; the most ruthless and well-armed group around. Vasha knows that they can outlast the raiders with the added protection of the village walls, but at what cost? And for how long? Then an idea hits her. Vasha approaches the leader of the raiders and offers to hand over the reins to the village for the day. At midnight, there will be a vote amongst the villagers and raiders to determine who will lead Osto into the future. Even though this story only provides a snapshot, Newton has developed a robust world that creates high stakes for her social experiment and sets the stage for a shift in mindset. As life in Osto plays out hour by hour, we get snippets of the village’s three-generation history from survival shelter to vibrant community. Despite the calamity and Osto’s mission of peace, old prejudices still linger and old problems haunt this new age. Meanwhile, “Esteben’s Men” have their own problematic history of survival and violence that has shaped leader Drake and ultimately informed his decision to seek Osto out in the first place. Neither group has everything figured out and that allows the conflict to evolve in interesting ways. The focus of this story is definitely on the journey to find an equilibrium between the raiders and the villagers of Osto. As a result, there is a little less focus on character development. There is a large cast of characters fit into a small story, so that should come as no surprise. Even though I wouldn’t call most characters unique, you still get a general sense of who they are and their varying perspectives help highlight just how complex a small community can be. That being said, there are a handful of key characters that are developed a little more and that you will still grow attached to as the story progresses. Special thanks to NetGalley for providing this ARC!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Very promising start to a series, this is exactly the survival story I'm always looking for. Can't wait to read more in this universe. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy. Very promising start to a series, this is exactly the survival story I'm always looking for. Can't wait to read more in this universe. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    I loved the voice of this novella right away. It mostly follows Vasha, the aging leader of a cooperative post-apocalyptic community as she navigates a single day, from 8am to 12am, from the little worries of a random day to the big worry when a troop of raiders threatens to destroy the community. Though the story was short, Newton manages to convey how different the world is compared to our time and the complex relationships between characters. Everyone was well rounded and complex, the plot mov I loved the voice of this novella right away. It mostly follows Vasha, the aging leader of a cooperative post-apocalyptic community as she navigates a single day, from 8am to 12am, from the little worries of a random day to the big worry when a troop of raiders threatens to destroy the community. Though the story was short, Newton manages to convey how different the world is compared to our time and the complex relationships between characters. Everyone was well rounded and complex, the plot moved along, and I was thoroughly invested in what was going to happen. Though the message is about how cooperation will be the salvation of the human race, The Future Second By Second didn't paint a rosy, fluffy picture. There are still difficulties within the community and without and difficult personalities. It was refreshing to read a realistic, hopeful take on the post-apocalyptic trend.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kiana

    Three words. I am obsessed. Phenomenal writing that instantly hooked me. Really awesome character development. Another thing that the author did well was show the dimensions to characters. Not everyone is all good or all bad. This is definite must read and I’m excited to read the other books in the series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aria Harlow

    I read this collection of dystopin short stories really quickly. they were well written with great stories and well developed characters. What I loved most is that even the most awful of places the spirit and voice fo community shone through. A really great collection.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elwyn

    French review will be posted on my blog on May 10. Thanks to Interstellar Flight Press and NetGalley for offering this ARC in exchange of an honest review. With her title, Meridel Newton presents us with a day that could change everything for the village of Osto. This community, which has rebuilt itself after a cataclysm, is invaded by raiders who threaten to destroy the village. In barely 100 pages, the author manages to paint a magnificently credible portrait of the functioning of this community French review will be posted on my blog on May 10. Thanks to Interstellar Flight Press and NetGalley for offering this ARC in exchange of an honest review. With her title, Meridel Newton presents us with a day that could change everything for the village of Osto. This community, which has rebuilt itself after a cataclysm, is invaded by raiders who threaten to destroy the village. In barely 100 pages, the author manages to paint a magnificently credible portrait of the functioning of this community, of the social and political issues with which Vasha, the "leader" of the village, has to deal in order to lead and make it prosper. The relationships, friendships, rivalries and hostilities are described with real tenderness and finesse. Love, hatred and grief are also described. What really stands out in this text, and this is the message that wants to be conveyed, is the power of collaboration, unity and the importance of each individual. The villagers work according to their skills and affinities, however, all products are gathered and redistributed to all, according to need. The notion of ownership does not exist. These are aspects that will become even more important as the story unfolds. The role of leader and the way in which it is exercised is also questioned "Osto was an oasis, united by the understanding that together, all had a better chance of survival in a broken world.” The rhythm chosen, a day, also allows for gentle contemplation, while remaining pleasantly rhythmic. It's difficult to say more, as I think it's a title that must be experienced. But if I had to summarize, The Future Second by Second is a magnificent fresco of humanity. An excellent read that I recommend to you, and which I hope, although I have few hopes, will be translated one day to be accessible to more readers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Moon

    I loved Meridel Newton's piece for GigaNotoSaurus Every Word a Play, so I knew that this was going to be a piece that, at least stylistically, was going to be right up my alley. And I wasn't disappointed at all. With an interesting framing device (cue Clocks by Coldplay), Meridel Newton fleshes out a post-apocalyptic setting, and pits against two different factions/communities, each with their own different worldview: a super manly warring warband encounters a thriving anarchist community, which I loved Meridel Newton's piece for GigaNotoSaurus Every Word a Play, so I knew that this was going to be a piece that, at least stylistically, was going to be right up my alley. And I wasn't disappointed at all. With an interesting framing device (cue Clocks by Coldplay), Meridel Newton fleshes out a post-apocalyptic setting, and pits against two different factions/communities, each with their own different worldview: a super manly warring warband encounters a thriving anarchist community, which serves as the setting point of a non-violent conflict resolution 101 that doesn't go as good as it should. Instead of shedding the spotlight on the two visible leaders (Vasha and Drake), Newton offers a whole range of viewpoints and antagonistic opinions, giving a great taste of the two communities and the problems they face—Osto is a future community with care at the forefront an easy to root for, where as Esteben's Men are the typical dystopian-survival-is-the-priority-and-we-go-with-mad-max-attire guys. But even though the plot and cast are rather straightforward, Newton makes things interesting with a plot that unravels swiftly, and with a range of characters that are much more than an archetype. All ending up in a pretty satisfying read. Thanks NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press for an ARC in exchange of a honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    Note: I was given an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. First things first, the cover and title of this book are absolutely stunning. This is definitely one I would pick up for the cover alone. The actual book itself was quite good, although not what I was expecting from the synopsis! Time seems to play a really big role in the title and marketing for this book, but aside from the general references to clocks and the chapter titles, it did not matter much in the book itself an Note: I was given an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. First things first, the cover and title of this book are absolutely stunning. This is definitely one I would pick up for the cover alone. The actual book itself was quite good, although not what I was expecting from the synopsis! Time seems to play a really big role in the title and marketing for this book, but aside from the general references to clocks and the chapter titles, it did not matter much in the book itself and could have been easily omitted without me noticing. This book takes place over the span of one day in a dystopian civilization that has created a small communal utopia in which everyone supports each other. This utopia is disrupted by a group of raiders looking to take advantage of their success which leads to a contest between the leaders of either group. The setting and plot for this book are fairly sparse which is nice because it allows the characters to take centre stage. Many of the women in this book are deep, complex characters that really shine in different ways. They fill in the roles of medic, leader, dutiful wife and other archetypes in new and satisfying ways. The two central male figures, Jonathon Newsome and Drake, however, are one dimensional and typically evil. I had a hard time reconciling their motives with their actions and both are just downright irredeemable bad people. It would have been nice to see a little more depth to them, however I understand that is difficult to do with such a large cast in a novella. Trigger warning: allusions to domestic abuse

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    My thanks to Interstellar Flight Press for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Future Second by Second’ by Meridel Newton in exchange for an honest review. This is Book 1 in the Shelter Trilogy, a series of novellas that showcases a different kind of post-apocalyptic world; one that focuses on community and cooperative living rather than the more commonly used trope of an authoritarian dystopia. Everything is ticking over nicely in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent My thanks to Interstellar Flight Press for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘The Future Second by Second’ by Meridel Newton in exchange for an honest review. This is Book 1 in the Shelter Trilogy, a series of novellas that showcases a different kind of post-apocalyptic world; one that focuses on community and cooperative living rather than the more commonly used trope of an authoritarian dystopia. Everything is ticking over nicely in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent on violence. Osto is led by Vasha, who has led her people for years. Yet this new threat could destroy the community. She strikes a bargain with the leader of the raiders that plays out over the course of a single day to determine the fate of Osto. I found this novella a thought provoking read and appreciated its timeline as well as the positive focus on community. Vasha was an inspiring lead. I certainly will be interested in reading more of the Shelter Trilogy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Isaiah

    To see a full review check it out here. Imagine if Becky Chambers came down to earth and wrote about a dystopian future of found family and community. I can't rave about this book enough. To see a full review check it out here. Imagine if Becky Chambers came down to earth and wrote about a dystopian future of found family and community. I can't rave about this book enough.

  13. 4 out of 5

    WorldconReader

    An entertaining community survival novella in a comfortably familiar post-apocalyptic setting. "The Future Second by Second" tells the survival story of a community of individuals and families as they deal with challenges such as weather, injury, raiders, and a political battle for leadership (and survival!) of the community. This story is quite readable as it steadily pulls us into a world that no longer has any of technology we associate with modern civilization. I look forward to reading more An entertaining community survival novella in a comfortably familiar post-apocalyptic setting. "The Future Second by Second" tells the survival story of a community of individuals and families as they deal with challenges such as weather, injury, raiders, and a political battle for leadership (and survival!) of the community. This story is quite readable as it steadily pulls us into a world that no longer has any of technology we associate with modern civilization. I look forward to reading more in this series. The setting, characters, and issues they deal with are engaging. I thank Meridel Newton and Interstellar Flight Press for kindly providing a review copy of this work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sena

    As a fan of character-driven stories, I instantly fell in love with this book. The story follows the people of Osta who have been set upon by raiders. In an attempt to avoid violent conflict, the villagers and raiders find themselves living together for a day. We get to see relationships formed, prejudices overcome, and people from different walks of life finding solidarity in one another. The characters are very well written and developed despite it being a short novella. Looking forward to fut As a fan of character-driven stories, I instantly fell in love with this book. The story follows the people of Osta who have been set upon by raiders. In an attempt to avoid violent conflict, the villagers and raiders find themselves living together for a day. We get to see relationships formed, prejudices overcome, and people from different walks of life finding solidarity in one another. The characters are very well written and developed despite it being a short novella. Looking forward to future books in this series! Thank you to net galley for the e-arc!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    Thanks to NetGalley and the editors for providing this early copy in exchange for an honest review. It started very well, we get to see how well organized the colony is, we meet the protagonist and then the raiders come, I just couldn't get my mind around the fact that the colony seems to be very organized and has been for many years and now they just give in to the raiders like nothing, I think they talked about it for like 5 minutes and she decided to leave control to them like it wasn't her li Thanks to NetGalley and the editors for providing this early copy in exchange for an honest review. It started very well, we get to see how well organized the colony is, we meet the protagonist and then the raiders come, I just couldn't get my mind around the fact that the colony seems to be very organized and has been for many years and now they just give in to the raiders like nothing, I think they talked about it for like 5 minutes and she decided to leave control to them like it wasn't her life's work. It took me out of the book and couldn't get back to it, I just didn't believe it anymore and it turned boring.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Reads_Must

    The Future Second By Second Meridel Newton Sci-Fi & Fantasy ⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book was slow to start but a quick read as it's quite a short story. I found this to be 'ok', it wasn't particularly captivating or exciting for me, although there was one surprise near the end. It gave me the impression that it could have been taken from the middle of a lengthier book if that makes sense - there wasn't much world building regarding what apocalyptic event had happened so I was left feeling pretty underwhelmed, The Future Second By Second Meridel Newton Sci-Fi & Fantasy ⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book was slow to start but a quick read as it's quite a short story. I found this to be 'ok', it wasn't particularly captivating or exciting for me, although there was one surprise near the end. It gave me the impression that it could have been taken from the middle of a lengthier book if that makes sense - there wasn't much world building regarding what apocalyptic event had happened so I was left feeling pretty underwhelmed, which is a shame as it has so much potential. It is the first in a trilogy though so perhaps that will be explored more in the books to come. *Thank you to @netgalley and the publishers @ for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Derek

    The Future Second by Second by Meridel Newton Book One of The Shelter Trilogy Description 📕 In a new America where civilization, as we know it has ended, every hour counts. Everything is ticking along perfectly in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent on violence. Vasha has led her people through the worst the world has to offer for years, but this new threat could destroy her hope for the future. She’s forced to strike a bargain with the leader of the raider The Future Second by Second by Meridel Newton Book One of The Shelter Trilogy Description 📕 In a new America where civilization, as we know it has ended, every hour counts. Everything is ticking along perfectly in the sanctuary community of Osto until a band of raiders arrives intent on violence. Vasha has led her people through the worst the world has to offer for years, but this new threat could destroy her hope for the future. She’s forced to strike a bargain with the leader of the raiders as tensions rise among the survivors and refugees who call Osto home. Old rivalries and prejudices put everything they’ve worked for at risk. But if Vasha plays this right, she just might forge a new future for Osto. The Future Second by Second is the first in a series of novellas showcasing a different kind of post-apocalyptic world—one dependent on community and cooperative living. Flipping the genre of dystopia on its head, Newton understands the power of hope and collaboration in the face of an uncertain future. Review ✍ This has to be the best opening paragraph of a book I have read in a long time (no pun intended). I admit that comes from a personal point of view, and it made me immediately dig out one of my pocket watches. It is one of those thought-provoking texts that resonate with you sometimes and leaves a lasting impression. A post-apocalyptic setting where the ravages of time have bitten deep. The small-town community of Osto is led by the seemingly ageing Vasha, who rules the people much like a shepherdess would care for her sheep. There are the usual irritations and problems associated with living in a small community. But as they prepare the final harvest for winter, the town is threatened by a band of raiders. Things then take a serious downward turn. There is not a lot of back history of how things are what they are, but this is a novella. Needless to say, the town has now expanded and now has a substantial population, with food being harvested regularly. There are socio-political elements at work within the narrative. It is fascinating to see how the townsfolk and raiders play these out. I enjoyed these encounters because they felt real. I also thought it was very realistic how the scenarios were eventually played out. The Future Second by Second is a post-apocalyptic future that is distinctly plausible. Well written with engaging characters and a short but descriptive story. Intriguing and intelligent use of a timeline to describe events made for fascinating reading. The Future Second by Second is an in-depth look at how humans can resolve issues in extreme circumstances when survival is at stake. The author has cleverly manipulated situations where the human spirit and free will can overcome the worst-case scenarios. I enjoyed The Future Second by Second, and I look forward to reading more books by this author.👓 Thank you, NetGalley and Interstellar Flight Press, for the ARC.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Moriarty

    Note: I received a Kindle ARC of Meridel Newton's The Future Second By Second from the author, a friend. This, the first in the Shelter trilogy, is a hopepunk novel--loosely defined as a genre with a post-apocalyptic setting wherein the characters do not simply despair, but also struggle to adapt rather than give wholly over to their fears. A quick read overall, this book is mainly an introduction to the characters, their society and technology level, and presumably setting the stage for future Note: I received a Kindle ARC of Meridel Newton's The Future Second By Second from the author, a friend. This, the first in the Shelter trilogy, is a hopepunk novel--loosely defined as a genre with a post-apocalyptic setting wherein the characters do not simply despair, but also struggle to adapt rather than give wholly over to their fears. A quick read overall, this book is mainly an introduction to the characters, their society and technology level, and presumably setting the stage for future plot developments. Though the story is hopeful, even funny, it is not without conflict, pain, or bloodshed. The communal society of Osto is a collective where the ideas of cellphones, electricity, and lightbulbs are a generation-distant story even to the head of the oldest leader of the village, Vasha. She's grown old and wishes to pass on the duties of leadership--not to mention refereeing petty-seeming squabbles between villagers' family groups--on to a newer generation. Then Esteban's Men, a group of infamous, well-prepared raiders, and their leader, Drake, arrive at the village, seemingly bringing winter with them at the end of Osto's season of harvest plenty. An abortive standoff between the two groups leads to an uneasy compromise and something resembling a truce, until two teenaged villagers go missing and throw the situation further out of balance--revealing hidden motives, hidden depths of leadership in the seemingly power-hungry raiders, and hidden family secrets upon which the détente between both societies--Osto and Esteban's Men--will rise or fall. A strong and realistically-drawn, diverse, and gradually-introduced cast of characters rounds out the plot; the way that Newton makes the characters change personally and politically, shifting alliances as they gain or lose hope in themselves and their larger social goals, rings true to me here at the edge of climate and political possibility in 2022. A great spring read; looking forward to seeing more of these characters I've quickly grown to love in the next installments in the Shelter Trilogy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ghost-hermione

    I was given this eARC by the publisher, Interstellar Flight Press, through Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. Thanks for the opportunity! Over the long weekend I was looking for something short enough that I could get through it quickly on the train, and I happened to have this sitting on my TBR shelf. I'm also not an avid ebook reader, but I found myself turning page after page until there was no more left to read! It's very short, and I finished it in an afternoon, which is more than I ca I was given this eARC by the publisher, Interstellar Flight Press, through Netgalley in exchange for a fair review. Thanks for the opportunity! Over the long weekend I was looking for something short enough that I could get through it quickly on the train, and I happened to have this sitting on my TBR shelf. I'm also not an avid ebook reader, but I found myself turning page after page until there was no more left to read! It's very short, and I finished it in an afternoon, which is more than I can generally say for ebooks... I'm also not a big dystopia, or post-apo fan, but the blurb had me intrigued: what I do enjoy quite a lot are stories of hope. And I think this delivered pretty well! Newton's world is one where tech has disappeared, electricity is a thing of the past and raids are common. Within that though, the little commune of Osto has survived for a lifetime, as people work together to take care of their harvest and animals, craft their clothes and build new systems to evolve in this new world. It's not all rosy though, and I appreciate that even within this tight knit community it's made clear that there's always, always gonna be conflicts, abusers, etc. There's even a strong theme of domestic abuse for a few of the characters. So while it's a story about hope, it's not about blind hope. But at the end of the day it truly is about cooperation and making the best of what you got, and communities coming together and building bridges. When you consider the state of the world today, especially with the climate crisis... I want to say "looming" but at this point it's no longer looming, it's definitely there... I think we need more of these kinds of stories that actually tackle the issue and what we can/could do in those situation, without it being just guns and violence. Hopepunk it is!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    In an apocalyptic world, a band of raiders threatens a town as they prepare the final harvest for winter. Rather than hunker down for an interminable siege or prepare for a bloody fight, the town's mayor offers the band a fair challenge - their leader should show their leadership in action and guide the town for the remainder of the day. The villagers & raiders together will then vote on which leader they prefer to follow, and be done with it. This novella illustrates between barbarism and civili In an apocalyptic world, a band of raiders threatens a town as they prepare the final harvest for winter. Rather than hunker down for an interminable siege or prepare for a bloody fight, the town's mayor offers the band a fair challenge - their leader should show their leadership in action and guide the town for the remainder of the day. The villagers & raiders together will then vote on which leader they prefer to follow, and be done with it. This novella illustrates between barbarism and civility - that pooling resources for the greater good is more beneficial for stability than a winner-takes-all mentality. As the day progresses, both parties learn about each other and see their point of view. I found it interesting (and realistic) that the most "barbaric" character is actually one from the village - a man who rules his tiny domain with an iron fist and harsh word to even those he loves. While this story is pointing at an interesting dichotomy, it did not go far enough to delve into how the raiders understood their actions. How their worldview brought them to this point, and their reversal is the most important to investigate. Making all them secretly not like their circumstances is a cop out. I'd also argue that the villagers (esp. the mayor) did not do anything to convince them that civility was a better approach - that only by the raider's own failures, the raiders changed their minds. Also, the only comeuppance is determined by a vote, with no actual ramifications to the ones who hurt those around them. That's not satisfying. Don't look to this story for a lesson of how to face & understand & turn this raider mentality, but instead see it as placation that of course you, yes you, are correct about the world. Now go get comfy.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

    Surprising a refreshing post-apocalyptical book that takes place many years in the future, well after the world we know is dead…vasha she is around 60 years old and she is the lider of the village of Osto, in the old days people only lived inside the shelter, now things are much better and they also have a kind of a vilage around the shelter, its a wonderful village, people all share what they have, all things belong to everyone, all people work to feed, dress and keep everyone safe, its a villa Surprising a refreshing post-apocalyptical book that takes place many years in the future, well after the world we know is dead…vasha she is around 60 years old and she is the lider of the village of Osto, in the old days people only lived inside the shelter, now things are much better and they also have a kind of a vilage around the shelter, its a wonderful village, people all share what they have, all things belong to everyone, all people work to feed, dress and keep everyone safe, its a village that also have artisans and is full of life and happiness… until certain morning, a big storm is coming, theres still produce in the fields and they could lose everything and to make things more dire, two young ones of the village are missing, they belong to families that don’t meet eye to eye, and of course this give vibes of Romeo and Juliet, and before vasha have time to address these problems someone comes rushing telling vasha that riders are coming, this is a big force and vasha needs to put things on hold… and she gives a very interesting proposal to the leader of the raiders, and that keep me going. I don’t know how, I just finished this book in a siting, lately I am feeling a bit under the weather but this book keep me going and it was full of hope in a kind of situation that you weren’t supposed to be full of hope… I really recommend this book to fans of post-apocalyptical books, where rebuilding the world is important, yeah it kind of tickles all the boxes Thank you NetGalley for the free ARC and this is my honest opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tesia Lewis

    The Appalachian Bookworm content warnings: violence, guns, death, domestic abuse, child abuse, physical injury The Future Second by Second by Meridel Newton is a short novella about a small dystopian village. Osto is a thriving community where everyone supports each other. Led by Vasha, an older woman who has been around for many years, this utopia has shared resources and an organized way of living. When raiders come looking to take advantage of the community’s success, a bargain is struck betwe The Appalachian Bookworm content warnings: violence, guns, death, domestic abuse, child abuse, physical injury The Future Second by Second by Meridel Newton is a short novella about a small dystopian village. Osto is a thriving community where everyone supports each other. Led by Vasha, an older woman who has been around for many years, this utopia has shared resources and an organized way of living. When raiders come looking to take advantage of the community’s success, a bargain is struck between the leaders of either group - a contest of sorts that will last one day and will determine the fate of Osto. What can happen in a single day? You would be surprised. With a wide variety of characters thrust into unexpected situations, this novella is a quick and easy read with an uplifting message, different from other dystopian stories. The Future Second by Second shines hope and light on a bleak world, filled with violence, cruelty and death. I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emmy

    An interesting, thought provoking dystopian short story. It was written so well and despite its length gripped me and kept me reading, and wanting more. There was so much action packed into so few pages. It’s set over a couple of hours and it made the story fast moving and quick to read. It was interesting to see the two groups trying to understand each other — and it seemed like there was an underlying message of our differences within societies, and how if we work together and try to understan An interesting, thought provoking dystopian short story. It was written so well and despite its length gripped me and kept me reading, and wanting more. There was so much action packed into so few pages. It’s set over a couple of hours and it made the story fast moving and quick to read. It was interesting to see the two groups trying to understand each other — and it seemed like there was an underlying message of our differences within societies, and how if we work together and try to understand people’s point of view, the world would be a better place for it. Despite its fast pace, and maybe I missed the point, but I struggled to care about what was happening. I was tad bored but equally I wanted to know how it would end. I didn’t feel connected to most of the characters and couldn’t relate to or make myself care about how they ended up. I loved Ahmed, though — there was something about him I loved and wanted to find out more about him. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author, for a chance to read and review this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Claire Olivia

    An original and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic novella that challenges all the tropes of the genre. It could have benefited from being longer to give the characters more time to shine. As it stands, they are initially difficult to differentiate and the plot races along a bit too quickly. But since the whole book takes place over one day I appreciate that the writing isn't drawn out. In just over 120 pages it manages to be efficiently impactful. This is one post-apocalyptic society where I, as An original and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic novella that challenges all the tropes of the genre. It could have benefited from being longer to give the characters more time to shine. As it stands, they are initially difficult to differentiate and the plot races along a bit too quickly. But since the whole book takes place over one day I appreciate that the writing isn't drawn out. In just over 120 pages it manages to be efficiently impactful. This is one post-apocalyptic society where I, as a disabled artist and writer, would not immediately be discarded, and it fills me with cautious hope that the world is gradually changing. Hope is a strange emotion to feel in a story like this, and ultimately that's where this novella succeeds. It brings something different. It brings something hopeful and has earned a place on my bookshelf. *Thank you to Interstellar Flight Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    In late 2021 I reviewed a book called Oil and Dust, which was about people in a post-apocalyptic, egalitarian-ish community that is threatened by violent outsiders. This book is very much like it; it's a parable set in a post-apocalyptic, egalitarian-ish community that is threatened by violent outsiders. But where Oil and Dust had finely detailed characters, social systems, and culture, Newton's book does not. In fact, it doesn't have much; a parable about learning that socialism can work, it's In late 2021 I reviewed a book called Oil and Dust, which was about people in a post-apocalyptic, egalitarian-ish community that is threatened by violent outsiders. This book is very much like it; it's a parable set in a post-apocalyptic, egalitarian-ish community that is threatened by violent outsiders. But where Oil and Dust had finely detailed characters, social systems, and culture, Newton's book does not. In fact, it doesn't have much; a parable about learning that socialism can work, it's got stock characters, dialogue, and a plot from a bad middle-school play. So while it might be ok for young readers--I'd say it's pitched at about a 4th grade reading level--it lacks the depth of ideas, characters, and plot for others.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The publisher sent me this book to review. I can honestly say I never get tired of post-apocalyptic fiction especially when it's uniquely done. This book is around 120 pages but it doesn't disappoint. We start out in the village of Osto, the story told hour by hour as a group of raiders come to pillage and greif the small community. We meet the two main families, the Blys and the Newsomes who are ends with each other. We see friendships being formed and plotting being made as the community must The publisher sent me this book to review. I can honestly say I never get tired of post-apocalyptic fiction especially when it's uniquely done. This book is around 120 pages but it doesn't disappoint. We start out in the village of Osto, the story told hour by hour as a group of raiders come to pillage and greif the small community. We meet the two main families, the Blys and the Newsomes who are ends with each other. We see friendships being formed and plotting being made as the community must choose who its leader will be. We see the technology and see how they have banded together through this time. This was a unique and lovely journey and I honestly enjoyed every second of it. If the next novellas are done in the same kinda manor and are as captivating, sign me up.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marvin Lee

    The Future Second by Second is about the community of Osto as they try to survive in a dystopian world. The community and its people are thriving until they're attacked by a band of raiders they have no hope in defeating. With no other option in site Osto’s leader Vasha makes a mad deal to try and save her community. The book was very interesting and fast paced and I liked how its not your typical dystopian story. Really the only drawback it had was the ridiculously huge cast of characters for a The Future Second by Second is about the community of Osto as they try to survive in a dystopian world. The community and its people are thriving until they're attacked by a band of raiders they have no hope in defeating. With no other option in site Osto’s leader Vasha makes a mad deal to try and save her community. The book was very interesting and fast paced and I liked how its not your typical dystopian story. Really the only drawback it had was the ridiculously huge cast of characters for a novella. I felt like the book would have been better if Newton would have given us a smaller cast than they could have fleshed the characters out more. All in all though it was a very enjoyable read and I'd like to thank Insterstellar Flight Press and Netgalley for the ARC.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    THE FUTURE SECOND BY SECOND is the first in a series of novellas from Interstellar Flight Press proposing an alternative to the usual post-apocalyptic narratives-- stories that emphasize optimism and cooperation over pessimism and violence. In that vein, this book tells an engaging story that shows us how peace can be achieved with conversation and effective leadership instead of destruction. It treats this theme with a kind of realistic hopefulness-- there are struggles, outbreaks of violence, THE FUTURE SECOND BY SECOND is the first in a series of novellas from Interstellar Flight Press proposing an alternative to the usual post-apocalyptic narratives-- stories that emphasize optimism and cooperation over pessimism and violence. In that vein, this book tells an engaging story that shows us how peace can be achieved with conversation and effective leadership instead of destruction. It treats this theme with a kind of realistic hopefulness-- there are struggles, outbreaks of violence, and bad actors, for sure, but this doesn't necessarily have to lead to a cataclysmic outcome. Meridel Newton's writing and storytelling manages to be efficient and quickly paced yet also allows the characters and their interactions to breathe. An impressive feat!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    THE FUTURE SECOND BY SECOND is the first in a series of novellas from Interstellar Flight Press proposing an alternative to the usual post-apocalyptic narratives-- stories that emphasize optimism and cooperation over pessimism and violence. In that vein, this book tells an engaging story that shows us how peace can be achieved with conversation and effective leadership instead of destruction. It treats this theme with a kind of realistic hopefulness-- there are struggles, outbreaks of violence, THE FUTURE SECOND BY SECOND is the first in a series of novellas from Interstellar Flight Press proposing an alternative to the usual post-apocalyptic narratives-- stories that emphasize optimism and cooperation over pessimism and violence. In that vein, this book tells an engaging story that shows us how peace can be achieved with conversation and effective leadership instead of destruction. It treats this theme with a kind of realistic hopefulness-- there are struggles, outbreaks of violence, and bad actors, for sure, but this doesn't necessarily have to lead to a cataclysmic outcome. Meridel Newton's writing and storytelling manages to be efficient and quickly paced yet also allows the characters and their interactions to breathe. An impressive feat!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Βιβή Κανάρη

    A well written book with intersting characters and worldbuilding, an optimistic dystopia. Yes, the civilisation as we know it has perished. People have to face starvation, violence, insecurity. However, a small community, the shelter, gives an alternative, based on love, compassion, collaboration, respect and trust. Will their leader manage to stop a raid solely based on her principles and her wit? I loved the optimistic vision of a shattered world. The novel starts very strongly, with an enemy A well written book with intersting characters and worldbuilding, an optimistic dystopia. Yes, the civilisation as we know it has perished. People have to face starvation, violence, insecurity. However, a small community, the shelter, gives an alternative, based on love, compassion, collaboration, respect and trust. Will their leader manage to stop a raid solely based on her principles and her wit? I loved the optimistic vision of a shattered world. The novel starts very strongly, with an enemy in front of their gates, two missing teenagers and a strorm coming, endangering the shelters crops. However those problems did not escalate as they should be, leaving a flat feeling.

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