Beginning in the near future and ending hundreds of years from now, “Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful” examines the definition of ‘human’ and how technological advancements in our world can change it. As the anthology progresses deeper into the future and to different areas of the world, readers are prompted to question the ethics and consequences of body modification and gene manipulation technologies. Themes of religion, relationships, and loyalty are explored through the characters. Because the stories reach different parts of the world and universe, as well as across time, it is difficult to understand the politics of how Earth got to each point in time except for the thread of a religious leader who seems to spearhead a political movement in the US. The reader would benefit from more background on the logistics of the world Dayton has created, a problem that likely stems from the format of the book.
Arwen Elys Dayton’s collection is both terrifying and heartwarming, seemingly impossible and highly plausible, and good for fans of shows like Black Mirror or Westworld. Hardcore sci-fi fans may find the book too surface level and inconsistent for their liking, but those looking for a fast-paced introduction to the genre of sci-fi will find it here.