Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. 🙂
I’m back with a review of a wonderful anthology and I hope my review will make you curious enough to get yourselves a copy. 🙂
The first tale, The Broken Man, by Jane O’Reilly, has a beautiful allegorical feel to it, almost as if it’s a myth which had been handed down through generations, while also being a look at the impact waste and pollution have on society. It follows the efforts of a girl, Kiko, to save a man who fell from a city in the clouds, and how what she does changes her and the man she rescues.
Space Rocks, by Kerry Buchanan, follows the return of a crew to Earth after they’ve collected some interesting rock-samples. These samples turn out to be much more than what they appear to be, and the tale does a great job of exploring how seemingly innocent actions can have wide, even dangerous, ramifications.
The Ice Man, by Rosie Oliver, is a clever murder mystery sans spaceships or aliens, and may seem out of place in this anthology, but it’s one of my stand-out stories; I really enjoyed this one! 🙂
A Cold Night in H3-II, from Juliana Spink Mills, is a claustrophobic and tense look at how a colony continues to dwindle after most of its population was struck down by a mysterious sickness. It’s tense and pacey and reminded me of The Thing (Carpenter’s original). Great tale!
The Colour of Silence, by Damaris Browne, explores the lengths parents will go to to protect and save their children. In this tale, humanity’s future, our children, have been infected with a terrible disease, and the only hope for them is the technology of an alien race.
Holo-Sweet, by E. J. Tett, is a cute, fun tale about love, AI’s, and the search for actors. Having enjoyed ‘Love, Sex and Robots’, I think this tale would translate wonderfully to that show. 🙂
My Little Mecha, by Shellie Horst, is a tale which explores what happens when children break free of the limitations and narratives forced on them by their parents, using an orbital defence station and an attack on it as its vehicles. Well written, and another stand-out story.
Ab Initio, by Susan Bolton, is a tale which explores the changes a deadly disease outbreak wrought on society, and cleverly uses age and how it affects our need to create as one of its vehicles.
The Shadows Are Us And They Are The Shadows, by Jo Zebedee, cleverly explores the aftermath of global devastation from the perspective of an interesting people. I won’t say more than that, in an effort not to spoil the story. It’s memorable and different, another great stand-out.
All in all, this anthology works wonderfully in showing that SF is still a genre which has a lot to say and has so many ways in which to say those things. Filled with great ideas and characters, Distaff is, hopefully, the first volume in what I hope will be an anthology series, and deserves to be widely read and enjoyed.
9 / 10
For more info about the anthology, the talented story tellers and their tales, check out this site. The anthology will be released on August 15 and is available for pre-order. 🙂 Also, go ahead and add Distaff to your Goodreads shelf.
Until next time,