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Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers

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Brand new from Topside Press, twenty-five transgender writers imagine different worlds in Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers. The #1 post-reality generation device approved for home use! This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience is required. Choose from twenty-five preset post-realities! Rejoice Brand new from Topside Press, twenty-five transgender writers imagine different worlds in Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers. The #1 post-reality generation device approved for home use! This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience is required. Choose from twenty-five preset post-realities! Rejoice at obstacles unquestionably bested and conflicts efficiently resolved. Bring denouement to your drama with THE FOOLPROOF AUGMENTATION DEVICE FOR OUR CONTEMPORARY UTOPIA.


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Brand new from Topside Press, twenty-five transgender writers imagine different worlds in Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers. The #1 post-reality generation device approved for home use! This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience is required. Choose from twenty-five preset post-realities! Rejoice Brand new from Topside Press, twenty-five transgender writers imagine different worlds in Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers. The #1 post-reality generation device approved for home use! This manual will prepare you to travel from multiverse to multiverse. No experience is required. Choose from twenty-five preset post-realities! Rejoice at obstacles unquestionably bested and conflicts efficiently resolved. Bring denouement to your drama with THE FOOLPROOF AUGMENTATION DEVICE FOR OUR CONTEMPORARY UTOPIA.

30 review for Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    This was a very strong collection of stories. A few recurrent themes (commodification of the body, for instance) crop up, I assume independently, although some of the authors may know each other, not sure. I did notice that more than one characters shops at No Frills in Toronto. Is this some trans-Canadian joke, or is it a code for being broke? I'd never heard of this chain. Anyway, out of 25 stories there were maybe two I thought were weak and a couple more that I gave up on because they were l This was a very strong collection of stories. A few recurrent themes (commodification of the body, for instance) crop up, I assume independently, although some of the authors may know each other, not sure. I did notice that more than one characters shops at No Frills in Toronto. Is this some trans-Canadian joke, or is it a code for being broke? I'd never heard of this chain. Anyway, out of 25 stories there were maybe two I thought were weak and a couple more that I gave up on because they were long or hard to follow (sorry, I don't text, I don't know what those symbols even mean) but for an anthology of what seems to be fairly newish authors that is a very strong showing. To read further: Rachel K Zall (I am a sucker for "secret private spaces") RJ Edwards ("What Cheer": pod person Christmas!) Trish Salah (Maybe. I didn't love "It Can Grow!" but I feel like the author would be better at a longer format. I wasn't sure what Duke's role in the story was or what was going on with the amoeba) Calvin Gimpelevich (I ordered this as a precursor to see if I wanted to get this author's solo volume, and I do). Ayse Devrim is a really fun writer. Paige Bryony (Maybe. I'm not usually up for this dark, but it was strong) Dane Figueroa Edidi (Let's crank the PNR to 11!) Nat Buchbinder (I approve of alien alienation) Brendan Williams-Childs

  2. 4 out of 5

    CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian

    Oh my God this is an amazing anthology with a huge variety of incredibly inventive, hilarious, and moving science fiction and fantasy stories by trans authors. I was totally blown away by how great the stories were. There were honestly only a few that I didn't love. It's just an astoundingly good collection. Full review here! Oh my God this is an amazing anthology with a huge variety of incredibly inventive, hilarious, and moving science fiction and fantasy stories by trans authors. I was totally blown away by how great the stories were. There were honestly only a few that I didn't love. It's just an astoundingly good collection. Full review here!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers is, in a word, brilliant. You want other words? Okay, how about fantastic, original, engaging, wondrous, amusing, exciting, arousing, and intellectually stimulating. Fair enough, that last one was two words, but it needed to be said. Multi-author anthologies are always a hit-or-miss proposition, even when built around a theme, but Cat Fitzpatrick & Casey Plett have done an astounding job here. Sure, there were a few storie Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers is, in a word, brilliant. You want other words? Okay, how about fantastic, original, engaging, wondrous, amusing, exciting, arousing, and intellectually stimulating. Fair enough, that last one was two words, but it needed to be said. Multi-author anthologies are always a hit-or-miss proposition, even when built around a theme, but Cat Fitzpatrick & Casey Plett have done an astounding job here. Sure, there were a few stories that did not really resonate with me, but there were so many that had me committing the cardinal sins of dog-earing pages and highlighting passages that I can hardly complain. Rather than run through the whole collection, I would like to do something different, and count down my fave fives in the collection . . . only, there is no way I can pick just five, so I guess we will have to settle for the more clichéd top ten. 10. Rent, Don't Sell by Calvin Gimplevich - This one starts out with the old staple of body-swapping, but puts some interesting twists on it. There is the typical joyriding by the rich, a creative means of personal training, and what seems to be a brilliant solution to gender dysphoria . . . but with a final emotional twist that I adored. 9. What Cheer by RJ Edwards - A weird bit of sci-fi, this one puts a more thoughtful, heartfelt spin on the idea of alien body snatchers. What would you do, if a perfect clone of yourself hatched before your eyes, and only had a few short days to experience humanity? 8. Control by Rachel K. Zall - On the surface, this is simply the story of an illicit affair between transgender lovers from different sides of the tracks, but the Orwellian influences give it a perfect edge that carries over into their frantic eroticism. It also had some of my favorite images and descriptions, including this gem: Specks sparkled in the moonlight; they could have been tiny diamonds of miniature polished skulls. She fell through the glittering cloud and landed on top of him, grabbing his hair and smashing her lips into his. His little cock was hard between his thighs; her clit was tenting her skirt. 7. Gamers by Imogen Binnie - This one had a definite nostalgic element for me, and one that really just tickled my fancy. I have never really been a gamer, but I do have an old-school passion for Zelda, so Samara's story . . . well, it just made me smile. 6. Thieves and Lovers by Emma Addams - This is a story about role playing, costumes, identities, secrets, and more, but with a sci-fi twist. Imagine if you will a world of wearable holograms, one where themed genre bars exist. There is a lovely story here of attraction and seduction, contrasting dreams with reality, and it all just clicks. 5. The Gift by Ryka Aoki - This is probably the least progressive story in terms of technology, but the most progressive in terms of attitudes. It was a sweet, easy-going, uplifting story of coming out as transgender and being immediately loved and accepted. My heart still swells over this one. 4. Delicate Bodies by Bridget Liang - When being transgender is so often treated by like a disease, and when so much of society treats you as a monstrous freak, maybe becoming a sentient flesh-eating zombie isn't such a bad thing. This was a fantastic story, equal parts dark and quirky, with a truly brilliant final paragraph. 3. Themyscira by Colette Arrand - I think a big part of the appeal here was in how it subverted my expectations. Here we have an island of voluntary exiles, with one young woman feeling out of place due to being the only one with a penis - at least, until another transgender girl washes up on shore. This one pairs well with Delicate Bodies, looking at gender as a disease, and exploring how it infects those around us. 2. Matchmaker by Dane Figueroa Edidi - In terms of sheer story, this is far-and-away my favorite in the collection. This could have been a blockbuster sized epic novel, and I still would have wanted more. A magic-fueled urban fantasy, full of colorful characters, plot twists, and betrayals, it hinges on the simple idea that a transwoman could be close enough to the Goddess to be a witch, but it is so much more than that. 1. Satan, Are You There? It's Me, Laura by Aisling Fae - No other story in the collection amused me, delighted me, and entertained me quite like this. This is a gloriously blasphemous story about a girl who tried to summon Satan and got God in disguise, and who then goes on to play matchmaker for the star-crossed lovers. It is full of so many little moments, so many clever deconstructions of religion, but it all boils down to this: "What do you think people would think, if they knew their terrible Devil was some tranny and their God a fag?" Perhaps the best collection of transgender fiction I have ever had the pleasure of reading, Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers has only one small flaw, and that is the absence of author biographies. Maybe they are just missing from the ARCs, and will show up in the finished product but, damn it, I want to know more about my sisters! As reviewed by Sally at Bending the Bookshelf

  4. 4 out of 5

    B.P. Gregory

    What are we reading?: Meanwhile, Elsewhere, Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers, edited by Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett. Give me the short version: Tired of the same old from your science fiction? Looking for the next read that’ll remind you how it feels to be alive? Back in the good old university days one of the authors published in Meanwhile, Elsewhere used to boggle my mind and pith my nightmares with her tales, so I was lucky enough to nab an advance copy in exchange for a What are we reading?: Meanwhile, Elsewhere, Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers, edited by Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett. Give me the short version: Tired of the same old from your science fiction? Looking for the next read that’ll remind you how it feels to be alive? Back in the good old university days one of the authors published in Meanwhile, Elsewhere used to boggle my mind and pith my nightmares with her tales, so I was lucky enough to nab an advance copy in exchange for an honest review. Like all anthologies there were a couple of stories that brought neither highs nor lows and a bunch I absolutely loved, and that had me scrambling to buy more more more from their authors. With Meanwhile, Elsewhere being such a wonderfully chunky publication (twenty-five tales) there’s something for everybody. A few I really enjoyed included the intriguing possibilities and cruel legal tangles of Calvin Gimpelevich’s body-swapping Rent, Don’t Sell; the brutal compassion and street justice of Paige Bryony’s voyeuristic Control Shift Down; and the quiet lonely worry of space travel that Sadie Avery painted in Using a Treadmill You Can Run Until Exhaustion Without Moving. Collette Arrand’s dreamy stylised island quarantine of Themyscira is a good one to have a pause and a quiet think after; the crazy high-octane trash-cyberpunk of Sybil Lamb’s Cybervania was a personal, personal favourite; and of course the frail beauty and sweet mournful introspection of Tristan Alice Nieto’s lovely resurrectionist piece Imago. My favourite bit: “Far from the fairytale meeting of love across distant realms, it was usually a confused and perverse confrontation as people tried in vain to locate a tiny fragment of the person they once knew within the talking pile of human remains that wore their lover’s skin.” – Imago, Tristan Alice Nieto.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Danika at The Lesbrary

    As always in an anthology, some of these were bigger hits than others, but overall I really enjoyed these. Tons of sapphic stories, too! Some of the first stories were so fascinating, I could easily write essays about them. The stories vary a lot. There are more sci fi stories than fantasy, and more trans women than nonbinary or trans men main characters. The plots vary from someone quietly ruminating in space about microaggressions to intense cyberpunk... cyber post-punk? In fact, quite a few o As always in an anthology, some of these were bigger hits than others, but overall I really enjoyed these. Tons of sapphic stories, too! Some of the first stories were so fascinating, I could easily write essays about them. The stories vary a lot. There are more sci fi stories than fantasy, and more trans women than nonbinary or trans men main characters. The plots vary from someone quietly ruminating in space about microaggressions to intense cyberpunk... cyber post-punk? In fact, quite a few of the stories have a punk undertone. Definite trigger warnings for transphobia, transmisogyny, violence, gore, and rape. In fact, the one story I had a problem with is Delicate Bodies, in which the main character is a zombie who rapes and then kills her ex-boyfriends/crushes. I get the zombie revenge fantasy, but I was honestly getting nauseated reading about her brutally raping multiple people, and the text seems to suggest that they deserve it. They may have been jerks, but they didn't do anything comparable. That soured the collection for me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Corvus

    I have to admit that Meanwhile Elsewhere and I got off to a rough start. I was very excited about reading this book as it's been on my to-read list since it came out. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high. One of the stories really let me down, but I am glad I didn't give up on it, because some of the stories are excellent. The first story is erotica, which is not my bag, but the second story- Delicate Bodies by Bridget Liang- made me put the book down and ask if I wanted to read a collection e I have to admit that Meanwhile Elsewhere and I got off to a rough start. I was very excited about reading this book as it's been on my to-read list since it came out. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high. One of the stories really let me down, but I am glad I didn't give up on it, because some of the stories are excellent. The first story is erotica, which is not my bag, but the second story- Delicate Bodies by Bridget Liang- made me put the book down and ask if I wanted to read a collection edited by people that would include a story like this. It is a zombie story and a rape fantasy in which the protagonist- a trans woman who is obviously the author's zombie self- rapes and tortures cis men who have said mean things about her or refused to have sex with her because she is trans. I am not sure how much worse the mens offenses were because I quit after the second rape. Not only is rape and torture the punishment, the men are portrayed as deserving it and eventually liking the rapes. It is the epitome of rape culture, which we as trans people are not immune from promoting. This story makes that very clear. Did we really need a story portraying a trans woman as a sexual predator? The story itself doesn't even fit with the theme the editors claim they chose for the book and it is a horror story, not SF/F. I then saw a review or two in which some people claimed this was one of their favorite stories. I was disgusted by this as well. The author obviously being the rapist in the story is extra worrisome and fucked up. So, here I am, devoting a large chunk of my review to this one disgusting story that almost made me put the book down and wonder if it was included solely because the author had some sort of connection. I eventually gave myself some space, calmed down, and decided to continue this highly anticipated read. The book does get infinitely better as it goes on. There are definitely not anymore rape fantasy horror stories. It's a mixed bag like any anthology, but many are well written and entertaining. Some of the stories seem all about being trans which was a little disappointing to me. I was hoping that a book like this would showcase more that we have talents outside of talking about transition. That said, in the afterword, the editors claim this was a conscious decision- to not choose stories that just happen to have trans characters, but to choose ones that center being trans. In other ways, stories that centered this imagined futures where transition related issues are thought of and orchestrated in different ways. This was definitely interesting. There is some real variation in topics across the stories. Like any collection, it's hit or miss, but the stories that I did like, I really liked, hence the higher rating. The best stories in the book, according to my personal tastes, are: (In order of appearance in the text) "What Cheer" by RJ Edwards "Rent, Don't Sell" by Calvin Gimpelevich "Control Shift Down" by Paige Bryony "After the Big One" by Cooper Lee Bombardier "Cybervania" by Cybil Lamb "Imago" by Tristan Alice Nieto This does not mean all other stories were bad. These ones in particular, though, were the ones that led me to seek out the authors online and find out if they have written any books I could add to my list. Overall, this is an important collection in that it showcases many talented trans writers who may otherwise go unnoticed. It contains one highly objectionable rapey trash story that I believe folks would do well to skip or at least go in heeding my warning. It contains a whole lot of stories that not only have good consent politics woven in, but good style and plot. I grabbed a copy of "I've Got a Time Bomb" by Sybil Lamb right after reading her story, I adored it so much. So, this is definitely worth a read as far as SF/F collections go. It's one of the better ones, and not just because it has trans people in it. This review was also posted to my blog.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bogi Takács

    Finished, but I'm not going to review it now, because I'm considering the stories in it for Transcendent 3! Source of the book: Print ARC from publisher

  8. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    This is one of those I-loved-it-so-much-where-do-I-even-start!?! kind of reviews. First off, it took me almost 4 months to read this anthology of short stories because I did not want the book to end. I savored each and every story. I love speculation fiction, I'm super picky about sci-fi, and I don't have much success with fantasy. But I cannot think of a single story in this book that didn't delight. All of them were fantastic and fierce. Calvin Gimpelevich's "Rent, Don't Sell" (about body switch This is one of those I-loved-it-so-much-where-do-I-even-start!?! kind of reviews. First off, it took me almost 4 months to read this anthology of short stories because I did not want the book to end. I savored each and every story. I love speculation fiction, I'm super picky about sci-fi, and I don't have much success with fantasy. But I cannot think of a single story in this book that didn't delight. All of them were fantastic and fierce. Calvin Gimpelevich's "Rent, Don't Sell" (about body switching and its impact on one's identity) was a speculative fiction lover's dream. "Imago" by Tristan Alice Nieto is about coming back from the dead (for a little while, and as an undead) and the parallels to transitioning were surprisingly poignant: "I get a message from a friend. They're sorry that they haven't called yet, but they're still in shock. They don't know if they're going to be able to see me like this. They're really, really sorry. Everyone's so fucking sorry." "Delicate Bodies" by Bridget Liang was one of my favorites. Think zombie apocalypse with a twist. The protagonist, Beryl, is Chinese-Canadian, from a Buddhist family, a trans woman, vegetarian, and... a zombie. It's dark and twisted and horrifyingly WTF but holy moly, somehow SO funny! Lots of social commentary packed into this one. This story is decidedly feminist, intersectional, and downright brilliant. These stories are incredibly diverse in perspective, imagination, and style. Best of all, I ended up with a slew of new-to-me writers to keep an eye on! Don't miss out on this one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jed

    I absolutely loved this collection of science fiction short stories centering trans experiences--which is not to say I loved every individual story (failed out of a few pretty quick), but I loved that there were so many different perspectives and styles included that no one person could possibly approve of them all. Some thoughts on my favorites: "Angels Are Here To Help You" by Jeanne Thornton, about a mediocre programmer in a technocapitalist dystopia who embezzles from her celebrity cat to fund I absolutely loved this collection of science fiction short stories centering trans experiences--which is not to say I loved every individual story (failed out of a few pretty quick), but I loved that there were so many different perspectives and styles included that no one person could possibly approve of them all. Some thoughts on my favorites: "Angels Are Here To Help You" by Jeanne Thornton, about a mediocre programmer in a technocapitalist dystopia who embezzles from her celebrity cat to fund a money-making scheme involving a recently-discovered alien empathy drug--genuinely one of the best short stories I've ever read, with some strikingly resonant predictions about the future of everyday tech and feelings of tech inadequacy. "Gamers" by Imogen Binnie, about a trans woman gamer, touching on male-coded gamer identity and a trans reading of the Ocarina of Time--really excellent tight POV and pacing, the ending kind of startled me by how perfect it was (warning for gore). "Imago" by Tristan Alice Nieto, a deeply unsettling zombie-POV revenge story featuring super cool robot butterfly vision--I don't read much horror but I think the stomach-turning-but-don't-stop vibe I got from this is probably why people are into that genre. "What Cheer" by RJ Edwards, about an alien anthropologist who learns about humanity by following one human around--a sweet and lightly brain-jiggling peek into the idea of a trans perspective as default, of trans bodies not defined by how they differ from cis bodies. "Rent, Don’t Sell" by Calvin Gimpelevich, about bodyswap technology and its applicability to gender identity, disability, how bodies retain trauma--the ending didn't blow me away but the premise and a lot of the worldbuilding were fascinating. "After the Big One" by Cooper Lee Bombardier, about a post-apocalypse survival crew comprising an older binary trans man who can pass, an older binary trans woman who can’t pass, two nonbinary youths, and a TERF--again, I didn't like the ending and I'm not sure what overarching point the author was trying to make (the sexual assault in particular felt pointless to me) but I loved the premise and a lot of the character interactions. "Using A Treadmill, You Can Run Until Exhaustion Without Moving" by Sadie Avery, an extended single scene of intense self-reflection by a closeted trans woman drunk in a motel room on Mars--a strong character voice and some powerful moments.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    Really interesting anthology. I will say that it starts out with two stories by trans women which include graphic sexual and physical violence against trans men. The violence is justified, glorified & gleeful - portrayed as wholesome as deserved. Trans women who prey on trans men is a dynamic anyone who's spent time in the trans community has most likely observed but knows is forbidden to talk about. Disturbing to see it celebrated & treated as normal. The second story also includes a trans woman Really interesting anthology. I will say that it starts out with two stories by trans women which include graphic sexual and physical violence against trans men. The violence is justified, glorified & gleeful - portrayed as wholesome as deserved. Trans women who prey on trans men is a dynamic anyone who's spent time in the trans community has most likely observed but knows is forbidden to talk about. Disturbing to see it celebrated & treated as normal. The second story also includes a trans woman raping men who were unwilling in the past as a cathartic & healing thing. Total rape apologism fully on display. It doesn't suprise me that these two stories were included as Sybil Lamb, who is a rapist who targets trans men & transmasc people, was also included. Lamb's piece was disgusting & pointless as always. Some rapists can write well, others cannot. Outside of that, the stories have a lot of insight. Sometimes the insight is not intended, such as clearly outlining the author's misogyny or lesbian-hating, sometimes it is intended, like giving a powerful window in the experience of alienation & suffering gender non-conforming people go through, or the possible strength of the bonds between LGBTQ people.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kat Rogue

    This collection is phenomenal. Most of the stories hit the perfect tone right off the bat, and some have snuck back into my psyche months after I dismissed them too quickly. Quite a few have completely redesigned the way I read science fiction as a whole. It's that good. It's SO haunting. The authors bring varied scifi takes through common trans tropes, so it's familiar for trans readers, yet elevated in unexpected ways. This is the first time these takes have been compiled together, and I hope This collection is phenomenal. Most of the stories hit the perfect tone right off the bat, and some have snuck back into my psyche months after I dismissed them too quickly. Quite a few have completely redesigned the way I read science fiction as a whole. It's that good. It's SO haunting. The authors bring varied scifi takes through common trans tropes, so it's familiar for trans readers, yet elevated in unexpected ways. This is the first time these takes have been compiled together, and I hope it's the first volume of many to come. There were a few stories that I didn't finish reading, and the work as a whole didn't quite meet the promises made on the back pages. The concepts of futuristic relationship styles or ways of being trans outside of capitalism weren't quite explored. A couple stories even felt like abridged versions of full novels that needed more time and space to explore. That's a good thing! It means I want MORE TRANS SCI FI AUTHORS. It's so thrilling to see so many trans authors of varying fame and skill share these pages! This is mandatory reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brook

    There’s no trans monolith in these pages, or anywhere on this planet. Not all of the characters in this book are heroes, and not all of them are feel good stories, which makes this collection the most human trans book I’ve read in some time. Ultimately, this collection of 25 stories leaves me hungry for more from each of these authors. There’s a whole universe of genre fiction to populate, so they’d better get on it. If you need a book to get you through a fall and winter of dreams, fireplaces, There’s no trans monolith in these pages, or anywhere on this planet. Not all of the characters in this book are heroes, and not all of them are feel good stories, which makes this collection the most human trans book I’ve read in some time. Ultimately, this collection of 25 stories leaves me hungry for more from each of these authors. There’s a whole universe of genre fiction to populate, so they’d better get on it. If you need a book to get you through a fall and winter of dreams, fireplaces, and early sunset, this is it. And, if you want a book of possibilities, one where we as trans folks can be anything, monster or hero, this is it. (more at https://medium.com/@brookshelley/a-re...)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hal Schrieve

    Evocative, prescient, snarky, moving. The authors in this book range in focus and also in genre--from the dreamlike speculative to hard sci-fi to satirical projections of current trends--but are united in providing interesting and fresh stories about gender and life under capitalism. My favorite stories are: -Trish Salah's story "It Can Grow" about a brain-eating amoeba that can only take over the world if she finds a way to have an orgasm, and the trans man who believes it is his mission to rele Evocative, prescient, snarky, moving. The authors in this book range in focus and also in genre--from the dreamlike speculative to hard sci-fi to satirical projections of current trends--but are united in providing interesting and fresh stories about gender and life under capitalism. My favorite stories are: -Trish Salah's story "It Can Grow" about a brain-eating amoeba that can only take over the world if she finds a way to have an orgasm, and the trans man who believes it is his mission to release said amoeba. Messianic--it's about the potential for revolution and change, or the potential for devastating destruction, and the way our desire for survival brushes against desire to be consumed because of the world we live in. -Calvin Gimpelevich's story "Rent, Don't Sell"--about body autonomy, bodily ownership, and body fascism, which centers an amputee veteran who inhabits other people's bodies at the gym for a living so that they can become fit without experiencing the pain of exercise; she meets a trans lesbian who is living in a body she traded for with a trans man--but the trans girl wants her old body back, and might not be able to win it legally. Discussions of surrogacy/biological labor which touch on the way we see our bodies under capitalism as machines or accessories and divorce our psychological selves from our physical selves. -Ayse Devrim's story "No Comment" about a Muslim trans neo-vaginal-virgin named Maryam whose new womb, transferred from a corpse, is already pregnant with the living and immaculately conceived child which had previously been in the body of a white midwestern bride. Coerced into keeping the baby which isn't hers and which she has no agency over, Mary is kept prisoner by teams of doctors and pharma companies and kidnapped by radical Islamophobes. Again, questions of Messiah, revolution, and bodily autonomy--the irresistable transforming change that the future brings and the question of whether women (and trans women specifically) have the power to change the world by asserting agency over their bodies/the way that state structures oppress and control marginalized populations. -Jeanne Thornton's story about a trans lesbian whose viral-video-famous cat has been repossessed by a media company and who takes a homemade rocketship to space in order to steal the empathy-inducing offal of a peaceful alien race and sell it on the black market as a drug --but who discovers that someone has beat her to it. Other highlights include an interrogation of power in intra-community trans discourse in the form of a tale about a survivalist str8ish trans man, a brief but moving tale about Ocarina of Time from seminal author Imogen Binnie, and a story of the zombie apocalypse and the neglect of suicidal and homeless trans women. If you are looking for the future of spec fic, look no further than the genius trans authors in this anthology.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    MEANWHILE, ELSEWHERE is an utterly wonderful collection of fresh, vibrant, and wildly imaginative stories written by trans writers unapologetically focusing on trans characters. Usually I breeze through a book in a day or two, but I’ve been savoring this one so I can appreciate all of the very different stories. As always with anthologies, there were a few stories I didn’t love, but overall I was amazed by the depth and range of the collection and really pleased at the inclusion of so many trans MEANWHILE, ELSEWHERE is an utterly wonderful collection of fresh, vibrant, and wildly imaginative stories written by trans writers unapologetically focusing on trans characters. Usually I breeze through a book in a day or two, but I’ve been savoring this one so I can appreciate all of the very different stories. As always with anthologies, there were a few stories I didn’t love, but overall I was amazed by the depth and range of the collection and really pleased at the inclusion of so many trans POC. These are some of my favorite stories in this anthology: Satan, Are You There? It’s Me, Laura by Aisling Fae: This one is by far my favorite story in the collection; it is a sheer delight. This is a deliciously blasphemous spin on God and Satan as star-crossed lovers with Satan as a transgender woman who is pissed at God for not conveying her correct pronouns to mortals. So good. The Gift by Ryka Aoki: This story imagines a progressive future where coming out is something to be widely celebrated, and Christian churches respond to them with great joy and applause. I loved Samantha’s pastor making sure that her parents weren’t trying to shove her into a gender binary and double-checking that they asked about pronouns. Delicate Bodies by Bridget Liang: I’m a sucker for zombie stories, and this rollicking feminist apocalypse tale featuring a Chinese-Canadian trans protagonist is mesmerizing. Imago by Tristan Alice Nieto: This is a heartbreaking story about losing the ones you love. In a future world, a miracle drug called “Revivranol” is used to revive murder victims for 3-4 days so they can tell the police who killed them. But these victims can rarely remember much about the person they used to be. I’m happy this collection introduced me to so many incredible writers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lorax

    I lived with this book, carried it with me like a precious tome, whipping it out to evangelically read passages to various companions who shared my time while I dove in the worlds of these exciting new writers. Not every story was a page-turner, but in every story, the words laid out beckoned to me in strange new ways. Perhaps the most shocking chapter was science fiction only in its premise: one author has imagined a future where being trans is treated as routine by the surrounding characters i I lived with this book, carried it with me like a precious tome, whipping it out to evangelically read passages to various companions who shared my time while I dove in the worlds of these exciting new writers. Not every story was a page-turner, but in every story, the words laid out beckoned to me in strange new ways. Perhaps the most shocking chapter was science fiction only in its premise: one author has imagined a future where being trans is treated as routine by the surrounding characters in an anonymous North American high school. This trans girl living the first day of the rest of her life, was the character that stayed with me the longest. It was her story that has haunted me with its questions. She exists in a parallel reality even time-travel wouldn't deliver me to, if I were to be sent back to my teenage self and, instead of a forced puberty, given my choice of hormones. Time itself, I am told, exists differently for trans people. It is fitting, then, to seek out speculative fiction written by these timeless beings. We think of the problems of human existence quite differently from someone who has never had to question the identity markers under their skin. I hope this collection of fresh trans science fiction and fantasy becomes a yearly edition, because this book needs to sit on a shelf with many more experiments in trans creative writing. The worlds trans people imagine are beautiful, like our bodies are beautiful, and I can't wait for there to be more.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ev Laird

    Ok tbh I skipped a few stories to make my way through this bad girl.... I promise I'll go back and read them one day when I have a copy of my own and I'm not holding one hostage from a friend. I will! I mean probably. Some thoughts: I love that this exists big time! The afterword made me FEEL. There are some stories in here that I've been thinking about since reading them at some point over the last year. But, there are some stories that I flat out forget. I found it quite challenging to slug thr Ok tbh I skipped a few stories to make my way through this bad girl.... I promise I'll go back and read them one day when I have a copy of my own and I'm not holding one hostage from a friend. I will! I mean probably. Some thoughts: I love that this exists big time! The afterword made me FEEL. There are some stories in here that I've been thinking about since reading them at some point over the last year. But, there are some stories that I flat out forget. I found it quite challenging to slug through all of these stories, especially so when each story contains it's own world with it's own rules and lore and sometimes syntax (Looking at you Sybil Lamb, you maniac 💜). But the good outways the bad! Flipping through the pages reminded me of the short story collections we would read in high school english (usually titled like MOMENTS or something), but like way cooler 😎. Long live trans propaganda!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Soren

    It's a wonderful anthology. I love sci-fi, I love the work by trans authors. Sci-Fi is a special genre that tells myths at the same time of projecting futures.

  18. 5 out of 5

    rich

    being trans and loving sci-fi/fantasy i really wanted to like this book! but in the end i only genuinely liked 8/25 of the stories, and felt a little let down. that said, i think a lot of it comes down to personal taste and i'd still definitely consider recommending this, especially for cis sci-fi readers who need or want to broaden their horizons. this book has a kind of sci-fi that i've rarely seen represented anywhere else and i'd give anything for it to be more commonplace across all SF lite being trans and loving sci-fi/fantasy i really wanted to like this book! but in the end i only genuinely liked 8/25 of the stories, and felt a little let down. that said, i think a lot of it comes down to personal taste and i'd still definitely consider recommending this, especially for cis sci-fi readers who need or want to broaden their horizons. this book has a kind of sci-fi that i've rarely seen represented anywhere else and i'd give anything for it to be more commonplace across all SF literature. obviously it's recommended to trans people too but, y'all already know i just really enjoyed the type of sci-fi represented in this! i rarely disliked any of the stories, they just didn't necessarily land for me, but i still was fascinated by the worldbuilding set up in almost every single one. there was a lot of small-scale personal drama type sci-fi, exploring the effects that introducing alien technology or body augmentations would have on us and our bodies on a very personal level, and i loved that. sadly i also could not get over the typos and misprints throughout... almost every story had an error of some kind and it just made me sad, it felt like the stories and the authors deserved better :^( but instead of being a downer let me shout out the 8 stories i REALLY enjoyed, the ones that made me stop and google the writer at the end so i could read more of their stuff: 1. What Cheer - RJ Edwards 2. Rent, Don't Sell - Calvin Gimpelevich (gonna try to get my hands on Invasions asap!) 3. No Comment - Ayse Devrim 4. Notes From A Hunter Boy - Beckett K. Bauer 5. Thieves And Lovers - Emma Addams 6. Schwaberrow, Ohio - Brendan Williams-Child 7. Imago - Tristan Alice Nieto (tristan has an extended version of this story as a handmade book on etsy and yes i will be buying it asap also!) 8. Kid Ghost - Nat Buchbinder

  19. 4 out of 5

    David Rodolfo

    LOL, reading this book took me an entire year. Sci-fi and fantasy are really tough genres in any medium. You can’t pull off a story easily, and being transgender doesn’t guarantee a great story. I’ll give this book a pass because it exists and because it offers an important perspective, a fresh set of voices that both genres need. However, telling a good story should be the main goal here. I liked 6 out of 25 stories here. I truly loved them. So either this book wasn’t for me, regardless of how LOL, reading this book took me an entire year. Sci-fi and fantasy are really tough genres in any medium. You can’t pull off a story easily, and being transgender doesn’t guarantee a great story. I’ll give this book a pass because it exists and because it offers an important perspective, a fresh set of voices that both genres need. However, telling a good story should be the main goal here. I liked 6 out of 25 stories here. I truly loved them. So either this book wasn’t for me, regardless of how excited I was to read it, or the selection of stories is pretty bad. It’s not that the stories didn’t speak to me because I’m not transgender. The stories that didn’t speak to me weren’t actually telling a story with any sense of plot structure or character development. It just a lot of exposition because they are trying to build a new world without enough time to actually do it properly. However, I can’t give this anthology less than three stars, because my tastes are also to blame. I’m not big on either genre unless storytelling is prioritized, and I still believe that comics and film are better media for those genres since world-building can be done visually without sacrificing the advancement of the story (and even that’s a hard trick to pull off). Other readers may be more patient and, therefore, better suited for this book, regardless of their gender. The good stories here do speak to everyone, and they are a good path towards the verbalization of the transgender experience in order to foster inclusion and empathy.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Just like The Collection, Meanwhile, Elsewhere is very hit or miss. Some of the stories are fantastic, some are underwhelming, some are just weird. I still really enjoyed so many of the stories, and I think fans of short stories, sci fi/fantasy, or trans lit will find lots for them. Some of my favourites: Bridget Liang - Delicate Bodies: not for the squeamish, but worth it for the zombified diy bottom surgery scene alone Calvin Gimpelevich - Rent, Don't Sell: his story in The Collection was one of Just like The Collection, Meanwhile, Elsewhere is very hit or miss. Some of the stories are fantastic, some are underwhelming, some are just weird. I still really enjoyed so many of the stories, and I think fans of short stories, sci fi/fantasy, or trans lit will find lots for them. Some of my favourites: Bridget Liang - Delicate Bodies: not for the squeamish, but worth it for the zombified diy bottom surgery scene alone Calvin Gimpelevich - Rent, Don't Sell: his story in The Collection was one of my favourites, and his story here was very captivating. why haven't I read more of him? note to self Cooper Lee Bombardier - After the Big One: The characters here are so well-written, and I love (and uncomfortably relate to) the main character's feelings. I think anyone who's spent some time in trans groups will recognize a lot about the group Janey Lovebomb - Under the Rainbow: yknow how horror movies can sometimes leverage these little anxieties you have and build them into some kind of terrifying real threat? this is kinda that, but with anxiety from repression. 25 year old me would've hated this story. sometimes it just takes time Imogen Binnie - Gamers: I didn't care for the plot of this one so much, but Imogen Binnie has this way of saying things that cut right through me. She'll just casually drop a line about being trans or past relationships or trauma or unhealthy coping mechanisms that'll make me feel exposed and seen in a way that's good but still uncomfortable

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alanna Why

    Meanwhile, Elsewhere is a fresh collection of sci-fi, fantasy and horror short stories from contemporary trans writers. Even though I am not a huge fan of these genres, I loved how the writers in this collection played with and subverted conventions of the genre's stereotypical plots, characters and themes. Like any anthology, it is a mixed bag, but the overall quality of this collection is very high. There were only a handful of stories that I couldn't get into and even the stories I didn't enj Meanwhile, Elsewhere is a fresh collection of sci-fi, fantasy and horror short stories from contemporary trans writers. Even though I am not a huge fan of these genres, I loved how the writers in this collection played with and subverted conventions of the genre's stereotypical plots, characters and themes. Like any anthology, it is a mixed bag, but the overall quality of this collection is very high. There were only a handful of stories that I couldn't get into and even the stories I didn't enjoy as much still took exciting literary risks. My favourite stories were "Delicate Bodies" by Bridget Liang, "What Cheer" by RJ Edwards, "After The Big One" by Cooper Lee Bombardier, "Cybervania" by Sybil Lamb and "Thieves and Lovers" by Emma Addams. Still, my #1 story from the collection was "Imago" by Tristan Alice Nieto (who knew that a story told from the perspective of a resuscitated corpse could be so beautiful and moving and human that it would make me cry?) Great collection overall, for both fans of the genre and not!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    There were definitely some stories within this anthology that were better than others but overall I really enjoyed the book. It was slow to get through because I think it took a bit to let each story sink in so it's something I would suggest you read one story at a time, maybe even a right before bed kind of read. I do love that it gave a lot of perspective into the lives of these trans characters. Not every story was completely centered around the topic of gender (which I think is more realisti There were definitely some stories within this anthology that were better than others but overall I really enjoyed the book. It was slow to get through because I think it took a bit to let each story sink in so it's something I would suggest you read one story at a time, maybe even a right before bed kind of read. I do love that it gave a lot of perspective into the lives of these trans characters. Not every story was completely centered around the topic of gender (which I think is more realistic this way as life has so many facets) but the ones that did were powerful and eye opening. My absolute favorite story was Imago, which is one of the last stories in the anthology. Not only is the writing extremely well done and easy to flow through, but the story itself is interesting, dark, character centered, and has a really powerful message about life and death. If nothing else, I would suggest picking up the book for that one alone.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    In a way I was surprised at how good this was, given that there were so many stories/authors writing about a relatively narrow topic. The sci-fi/fantasy angle offered a lot of possibilities for thinking about trans bodies. The stories imagined futures in which people could swap their body with an entirely new one, where people can get chips implanted in their brains that might change their gender identity (i.e., to "match" their body), zombies can tear off their own unwanted body parts, or a spe In a way I was surprised at how good this was, given that there were so many stories/authors writing about a relatively narrow topic. The sci-fi/fantasy angle offered a lot of possibilities for thinking about trans bodies. The stories imagined futures in which people could swap their body with an entirely new one, where people can get chips implanted in their brains that might change their gender identity (i.e., to "match" their body), zombies can tear off their own unwanted body parts, or a species where primary sex characteristics don't appear until adolescence. I don't know if any of these stories will really stick with me, though that may be because I am not the intended audience of the book. There were a handful I skipped, and a bit too much gore overall for my tastes.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liathano

    This book is amazing--for trans people by trans people. Truly amazing to really see one's self in literature, in a way that I rarely do. Many stories touched on ways we--society--could be, both in the positive and negative. Amazing and validate to see one's own insecurities represented with deep understanding and empathy. Favorite Stories: Satan, Are You There? It's Me, Laura -- Aisling Fae After the Big One -- Cooper Lee Bombardier No Comment -- Ayşe Devrim Matchmaker -- Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi Ima This book is amazing--for trans people by trans people. Truly amazing to really see one's self in literature, in a way that I rarely do. Many stories touched on ways we--society--could be, both in the positive and negative. Amazing and validate to see one's own insecurities represented with deep understanding and empathy. Favorite Stories: Satan, Are You There? It's Me, Laura -- Aisling Fae After the Big One -- Cooper Lee Bombardier No Comment -- Ayşe Devrim Matchmaker -- Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi Imago -- Tristan Alice Nieto The Gift -- Ryka Aoki But seriously, so many excellent stories--can't recommend this book highly enough.

  25. 4 out of 5

    SJ

    as a collection of short stories, i found this to be a mixed bag. some of the stories were more graphic than i would have preferred, just not my taste which is fine, but it was a bit frustrating that there were no summaries available so you just had to just start reading each one or try to guess from the titles which ones sounded interesting. think my favorite was "Satan, Are You There? It's Me, Laura." declining to give the whole book a star rating because to be fair, i did not fully read each as a collection of short stories, i found this to be a mixed bag. some of the stories were more graphic than i would have preferred, just not my taste which is fine, but it was a bit frustrating that there were no summaries available so you just had to just start reading each one or try to guess from the titles which ones sounded interesting. think my favorite was "Satan, Are You There? It's Me, Laura." declining to give the whole book a star rating because to be fair, i did not fully read each story. i am cis, and probably the reason some of these didn't resonate with me is because they weren't meant to. that's okay. i read this for an upcoming feminist bookclub meeting and i think the discussion will be enlightening and worthwhile.

  26. 4 out of 5

    King Ma

    Bioware harvesting, body snatching, alien doppelgängers, zombified gender affirming surgeries, the immaculate conception via uterine transplant. A bookseller at the Philadelphia Trans Health conference sold me this collection of stories and I highly recommend it. The blurb on the back of the book says the book changed the way I dreamed. Same. Every story is memorable and there isn’t one I didn’t like.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ela

    Favourite stories: ‘Satan, are you there? It’s me, Laura’ by Aislibg Fae ‘No Comment’ by Ayşe Devrim ‘Using a treadmill, you can run until exhaustion without moving’ by Sadie Avery ‘Cybervania’ by Sybil Lamb ‘Under the rainbow’ by Janey Lovebomb ‘Heat death of western human arrogance’ by M Télle ‘Matchmaker’ by Dane Figueroa Edidi ** ‘Schwaberow, Ohio’ by Brendan Williams-Childs ‘The gift’ by Ryka Aoki ‘Angels are here to help you’ by Jeanne Thornton **

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vera

    This is an absolutely amazing book that everyone should read. It has honestly "changed the way I dream" (as the back cover says) and I am a different person now. As it is a collection of stories, there were some I LOVED and some I couldn't finish, but overall it is a beautiful book of stories by, for, and about trans people.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Overall I found the stories innovative and quite different, but I hadn’t anticipated the level of gore and violence in this anthology. Might just be a different retelling or viewing of the genres, as they felt more dystopian / cyberpunk / horror for the most part. Some of the short stories were also harder to get into than others, but then some blew me away. It’s probably just me!

  30. 5 out of 5

    cosima concordia

    There is something about navigating your life and body while being trans that already suggests something fantastical and futuristic, and this collection of sci-fi and fantasy put together by the fabulous Cat Fitzpatrick and Casey Plett throw us headfirst into a multiverse of delightful new possibilities, both past and future.

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