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New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color showcases emerging and seasoned writers of many races telling stories filled with shocking delights, powerful visions of the familiar made strange.  Between this books covers burn tales of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and their indefinable overlappings.   These are authors aware of our many possible pasts and New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color showcases emerging and seasoned writers of many races telling stories filled with shocking delights, powerful visions of the familiar made strange.  Between this book’s covers burn tales of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and their indefinable overlappings.   These are authors aware of our many possible pasts and futures, authors freed of stereotypes and clichéd expectations, ready to dazzle you with their daring genius Unexploited brilliance shines forth from every page.  Includes stories by Kathleen Alcala, Minsoo Kang, Anil Menon, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Alex Jennings, Alberto Yanez, Steven Barnes, Jaymee Goh, Karin Lowachee, E. Lily Yu, Andrea Hairston, Tobias Buckell, Hiromi Goto, Rebecca Roanhorse, Indrapramit Das, Chinelo Onwualu and Darcie Little Badger.


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New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color showcases emerging and seasoned writers of many races telling stories filled with shocking delights, powerful visions of the familiar made strange.  Between this books covers burn tales of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and their indefinable overlappings.   These are authors aware of our many possible pasts and New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color showcases emerging and seasoned writers of many races telling stories filled with shocking delights, powerful visions of the familiar made strange.  Between this book’s covers burn tales of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and their indefinable overlappings.   These are authors aware of our many possible pasts and futures, authors freed of stereotypes and clichéd expectations, ready to dazzle you with their daring genius Unexploited brilliance shines forth from every page.  Includes stories by Kathleen Alcala, Minsoo Kang, Anil Menon, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Alex Jennings, Alberto Yanez, Steven Barnes, Jaymee Goh, Karin Lowachee, E. Lily Yu, Andrea Hairston, Tobias Buckell, Hiromi Goto, Rebecca Roanhorse, Indrapramit Das, Chinelo Onwualu and Darcie Little Badger.

30 review for New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I have read quite a few anthologies published by this publishing house and while short story anthologies are nearly always a mixed bag, I have always found some brilliant authors to follow. This book though did not work for me. I found most of the short stories disappointing and I did not finish reading all of them. I think I would have liked this more if there had been some kind of theme here. While I appreciate the idea of publishing short stories by authors of colour, I do think more cohesion I have read quite a few anthologies published by this publishing house and while short story anthologies are nearly always a mixed bag, I have always found some brilliant authors to follow. This book though did not work for me. I found most of the short stories disappointing and I did not finish reading all of them. I think I would have liked this more if there had been some kind of theme here. While I appreciate the idea of publishing short stories by authors of colour, I do think more cohesion would have improved my reading experience. There were nonetheless a few stories that stood out for me and I feel the need to highlight them. I really enjoyed Rebecca Roanhorse’ take on the Deer Woman (“Harvest”) and thought the story was both poignant and impeccably structured. She is fast becoming one of most exciting SFF authors out there (I still have not read her Hugo winning short story but will have to remedy this as soon as possible). I found Chinelo Onwualu’s short story “The Fine Print” impressive in its interesting exploration of family and the ties that bind us. As always, the short story by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (“Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister”) was by far my favourite. I really do like the way here prose flows and her imagination sparkles and will definitely have to pick up some of her novels this year. I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing in exchange for an honest review. You can find this review and other thoughts on books on my blog.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    An anthology of speculative fiction written by people of color. This was one of my kindle sale random adds. I knew nothing about the book prior to purchasing it and it was not on my tbr. It's a mixed bag with some stories capturing my attention more than others. I appreciated the varying points of view and a few of these stories were brilliant. Impressions on the stories were as follows:(view spoiler)[ The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Light story about a cab driver that drives aliens An anthology of speculative fiction written by people of color. This was one of my kindle sale random adds. I knew nothing about the book prior to purchasing it and it was not on my tbr. It's a mixed bag with some stories capturing my attention more than others. I appreciated the varying points of view and a few of these stories were brilliant. Impressions on the stories were as follows:(view spoiler)[ The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Light story about a cab driver that drives aliens throughout New York City. The story details the specifics of dealing w/ out of this world alien species and their desire for human food and experiences. Similar to how Americans feel when we travel to different countries looking for an authentic experience. Touches on futuristic immigration policies. Off to a good start. 4+ Stars." Deer Dancer - A short story about dystopian settlers. We aren't treated to what happened in the world, just a couple of characters trying to survive on the Edge. Interesting and well done. It reminded me of Israeli settlers in Palestinian regions. Not the political turmoil, just the settlers forced toward the Edges to have a decent place to live due to cost of living/lack of space. 4 Stars The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations - a short story about how history is told by the victors. It was amusing and a little bit of a sledgehammer about the presence/absence of women in the story. Come Home to Atropos - Interesting, very brief story about a press release for tourism to an island where people go to Euthanize themselves. Presumably in this future, it is illegal in parts of the world. There is sarcasm here, presumably this is an island with a history of colonization and oppression marketing to their historic oppressors...where the islanders (paraphrased) will enjoy serving you… 4+ Stars The Fine Print - A father negotiates w/ a djinn for the life of his son. A different twist. I liked this one. 4+ Stars unkind of mercy - weird little story about parts of ourselves that become untethered. The presence in the room that you feel sometimes that's no longer there. The piece of you that missing. Turns out its aliens... meh. 3+ Stars Burn the Ships - fantasy tale of a village enslaved and tormented and how they fought back against the occupying army and their living god. 4+ Stars" The Freedom of the Shifting Sea - strange but engaging story about a mermaid-ish being that was a bit of a siren as well. Erotic and odd and fascinating…4+ Stars Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire - The Emperor has no clothes theme. Not derivative. A copy. A little too directly linked and political for my tastes. Mercifully short. 3 Stars Blood and Bells - A story about indigenous tribes. Not so scifi oriented, felt like a cultural immersion for current times. Speculative definitely defines this. Modern feel w/ throwback cultural mores about the way difficult conflicts are handles. This one had "Romeo and Juliet" undertones. 3.5 Stars Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister - point of view story of a reluctant vampire with a penchant for babies. Told from a remorseful almost self deluding point of view. Interesting…3.5 Stars The Shadow We Cast Through Time - Story of a colony expectantly cutoff from advanced civilization for several generations and the folklore/mythologies that arises as the humans learn to live w/ the indigenous people. Fascinating. 3.5 Stars The Robots of Eden - A pretty powerful story about the future where cybernetic mechanisms implanted in the brain called "Enhancements" suppress emotions for the greater good of society. Evocative of antidepressant drugs where the users don't seem to feel themselves. Excellent!" 5 Stars Dumb House - A rather odd dystopian future where corporations rule w/ elements of Nigerian folklore. Meant to be tongue in cheek but w/ sledgehammer commentary on corporate landscape and the expendability of people vs profit. Odd but oddly compelling. 4 Stars One Easy Trick - Amusing story about body image and appreciating oneself no matter what. I liked it. 4.5 Stars Harvest - This one was written by Rebecca Roanhorse and was steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. A bit gruesome and admittedly over my head. Fantasy, not scifi. 3.5 Stars Kelsey and the Burdened Breath - Another one that I'm not sure I quite get. Basically Kelsey hunted the last breaths because they haunted buildings etc. Her dog Pal was able to sniff them out. Pal apparently is dead too?!? I didn't quite get it. 3 Stars (hide spoiler)] My favorites were "The Robots of Eden" which was brilliant and poignant and "One Easy Trick" which was deeper than its light tone implied. This collection has more really good to excellent stories then meh. Always a good sign. Sometimes the shift in tone could be jarring between stories. Some of these are very dark and serious, others light and some had little to no "speculative"-ness to them. The cover art (which I think is really cool) does not correlate to any of the stories within the book. A good read overall, glad I gave into my whim and picked this up. 4 Stars Read on kindle

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    We all know that short story anthologies can be a somewhat hit and miss affair, so I tend to go into them with much trepidation as well as anticipation. That said, it is one of the best ways to discover new authors and genres you may have been missing out on. Fortunately, this turned out to be one of the best and most enjoyable collections I've read in many moons, and I feel strongly that diversity is definitely a key player in that. The seventeen stories presented are from a wide range of We all know that short story anthologies can be a somewhat hit and miss affair, so I tend to go into them with much trepidation as well as anticipation. That said, it is one of the best ways to discover new authors and genres you may have been missing out on. Fortunately, this turned out to be one of the best and most enjoyable collections I've read in many moons, and I feel strongly that diversity is definitely a key player in that. The seventeen stories presented are from a wide range of genres and indeed some encompass more than one specific genre. Needless to say, they are all original and intriguing. We need more people of colour in all genres of literature. Each of the tales is well written, introduces us to new concepts and ideas, and promotes both established and fledgeling writers. From experience, Rebellion tend to be one of the most reliable for producing thoroughly enjoyable compendiums; this book is no exception. There is definite merit in arguing that we should not segregate authors by colour and include short stories only if they fit what the editor is looking for; that way we should see representation from all races. It just makes me sad that it seemingly has to be this way. Overall though, an enjoyable read. Speculative fiction fans will lap this up without a problem. Many thanks to Rebellion Publishing/Solaris Books for an ARC.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)

    Review also found at: https://danaandthebooks.com/2019/03/1... A few months back I posted about the cover release for New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color.  Rebellion Publishing was kind enough to also send over an advance reading copy for review. Fantastic anthology with a wonderful range of stories. While all seventeen stories brought something special to the anthology, the selection below are the ones that stood out to me during my read through. Now excuse me while I go Review also found at: https://danaandthebooks.com/2019/03/1... A few months back I posted about the cover release for New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color.  Rebellion Publishing was kind enough to also send over an advance reading copy for review. Fantastic anthology with a wonderful range of stories. While all seventeen stories brought something special to the anthology, the selection below are the ones that stood out to me during my read through. Now excuse me while I go look up more works from a bunch of these authors! The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Tobias Buckell NYC cab driver Tavi's day didn't go so well when his cephaloid alien passenger steps out his flying cab and falls to his death. Dry humour everywhere and a wonderful picture of future New York's galactic tourism industry. A great story to kick off the anthology! Come Home to Atropos - Steven Barnes Loved this one! An infomercial script for euthanasia tourism to a Caribbean island geared towards rich white people. Cynical. Dark. Satirical. Unnervingly funny. The Fine Print - Chinelo Onwualu A Djinn story! Wishes are granted, but there's always a fine print. Great logic vs. bureaucracy battle. Burn the Ships - Alberto Yáñez Natives in a magic world rise up against their colonizers and includes some pretty dark magic. I would love to read a full length novel about this world! Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire - E. Lily Yu Retelling of The Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen.  Bloody, chaotic, and hilarious. I lost it at "Ma, I can see his dick." This story was my favourite in the entire anthology! One Easy Trick - Hiromi Goto A woman literally loses her belly fat (like that episode of Doctor Who) and tries to get it back. Oh, and there's a talking bear. This was one the weirder stories in the collection. Weird is always good with me.   Thank you so much, Rebellion Publishing, for sending over a copy! Book Links: Book Depository | Amazon US | Amazon UK

  5. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    I generally find anthologies tricky depending, as they do, on an editors goal for inclusion which may not match what I am hoping for. I also have an up and down affair with short stories as they take real skill to develop a world and characters in virtually no time at all- like magic! I choose to read New Suns with the hope that I would walk away with a few new names of authors to keep in mind. Finding a new author is such a joy and I found several! My guess is that other readers may enjoy I generally find anthologies tricky depending, as they do, on an editor’s goal for inclusion which may not match what I am hoping for. I also have an up and down affair with short stories as they take real skill to develop a world and characters in virtually no time at all- like magic! I choose to read New Suns with the hope that I would walk away with a few new names of authors to keep in mind. Finding a new author is such a joy and I found several! My guess is that other readers may enjoy different writers than the ones I did, which is, to my thinking, the perfect raisin d’etre for an anthology. Magic, in the form of well written short stories, will be found in New Suns. Read and find your new authors to follow!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mike Finn

    I'm always hungry for voices in Speculative Fiction who have the gift of seeing the world - past, present and future - differently and who can help me step out of my world and into theirs. I bought Nisi Shawl's 'New Suns - Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color' because I was already a fan of two of the writers, Karin Lowachee and Rebecca Roanhorse, I'm happy that, from the seventeen stories in 'New Suns', I've found another seven new-to-me writers whose work I'd like to see more of. I'm always hungry for voices in Speculative Fiction who have the gift of seeing the world - past, present and future - differently and who can help me step out of my world and into theirs. I bought Nisi Shawl's 'New Suns - Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color' because I was already a fan of two of the writers, Karin Lowachee and Rebecca Roanhorse, I'm happy that, from the seventeen stories in 'New Suns', I've found another seven new-to-me writers whose work I'd like to see more of. I've given a brief outline of what appealed to me about my favourite stories in this collection and some details on the authors. I've listed the stories in the order that they appear in the collection. I encourage you to try this collection. Your favourite stories might be different than mine. 'Deer Dancer' by Kathleen Alcalá 'Deer Dancer' is one of those (very) short pieces of speculative fiction that sparkle in the imagination like a shard of blown glass: bright, unique and with sharp edges. In eight pages or so, a series of short scenes showed me a young woman called Tater and the communal life she leads in a future version of our world, a couple of generations after large scale climate change has forced people to find new ways to live. It's a story filled with magic and strength and hope. You can find my full review HERE Kathleen Alcalá is a Clarion West graduate and instructor, the award-winning author of six books, a recent Whitely Fellow, and a previous Hugo House Writer in Residence. Her latest book, The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island, explores relationships with geography, history, and ethnicity. 'Coming Home To Atropos' by Steve Barnes Steven Barnes' 'Coming Home To Atropos' has humour so dry it leaves you desiccated. Then you realise there was no humour, only long-deserved revenge. The skin of an infomercial, designed to attract rich white folks who want to end their lives in comfort on a Caribbean island, is slowly peeled away to show the grinning skull underneath. This is a sharp-edged story that cuts deep. STEVEN BARNES is a New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and educator who has written more than thirty science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels. Octavia E. Butler called Barnes’s Endeavor-Award winning novel Lion’s Blood “imaginative, well researched, well written, and devastating.” 'Unkind of Mercy' by Alex Jennings Unkind of Mercy by Alex Jennings is a very disquieting tale, with a new kind of supernatural threat in New Orleans. The threat itself is well-conceived and skilfully revealed but what really sells the story is the accuracy and credibility of the everyday life of the nineteen-year-old woman who stumbles into the threat. Everything about her life feels real and relatable, which makes the threat much more convincing. Alex Jennings is a writer /teacher / performer living in New Orleans. He was born in Wiesbaden (Germany) and raised in Gaborone (Botswana), Tunis (Tunisia), Paramaribo (Surinam) and the United States. He constantly devours pop culture and writes mostly jokes on Twitter (@magicknegro). 'Burn The Ships' by Alberto Yáñez 'Burn The Ships' by Alberto Yáñez is a chilling riff on the conquest of the of Peru seen from the Inca point of view and with a very different ending, that challenges not just conquest but patriarchal theocracy. This is a deeply atmospheric story about a clash of cultures, the nature of magic and a struggle between the submission of male magebloods to a hungry god and the anger of female magicians who will not abdicate their responsibility for the lives of their people to a god who sits back and does nothing. Alberto Yáñez is a writer of fantasies, poetry, and essays on justice, agency and art, pop culture, and the absurdity of life. With the eye of a natural editor, he’s also a photographer with a documentarian’s approach to taking pictures. 'The Freedom of the Shifting Sea' by Jaymee Goh 'The Freedom of the Shifting Sea' by Jaymee Goh gives a 'mermaid' story that seems somehow more grounded and plausible than most and imagines a relationship that need not end up in pain and sacrifice, possibly because men are not involved. I liked that the 'mermaid' is portrayed as alien and different, capable of great violence, who has a different sense of time passing but is still a person and a person who can be fascinated by women but sees men as a nuisance to be dealt with. Jaymee Goh is a writer, reviewer, editor, and essayist of science fiction and fantasy. She graduated from the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop in 2016, and received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Riverside, where she dissertated on steampunk and whiteness. She is a Malaysian citizen currently living in Berkeley, California 'Blood And Bells' by Karin Lowachee I liked the energy of the speech pattern, almost a dialect, that Karin Lowachee told 'Blood and Bells' in. It helped to immerse me in a future where rival gangs are struggling to survive. It was never so dense that it got in the way and it gave a very distinctive flavour. The world-building is deft and rapid, quickly creating a culture of violent confrontations, tribal loyalties and endless strife. The plot doesn't give in to the environment. Instead, it focus on the personal, on family and on finding a route to freedom. Karin Lowachee is a Guyanese-born Canadian author of speculative fiction. She s the author of four novels, Warchild (2002), Burndive (2003), Cagebird (2005) and The Gaslight Dogs (2010). 'Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 'Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an almost-fragment of a story, a sliver of a different reality but it's a sliver that slips between the lower ribs into your liver. I liked how normality was made to feel fragile and difficult to sustain, as if it were an illusion you cling to to distract yourself from the darkness you know is inside you but are trying not to deny. Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the author of the novels Gods of Jade and Shadow, Certain Dark Things, Untamed Shore, and a bunch of other books. She has also edited several anthologies, including the World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks in Shadows (a.k.a. Cthulhu's Daughters). She describes herself as 'Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination.' 'Harvest' by Rebecca Roanhorse 'Harvest' by Rebecca has a tone that I found irresistible. Its a siren call or seduction, possession, submission and sacrifice. It's filled with blood and beauty and deeply felt grief and the total satisfaction that comes of surrendering yourself to someone you are intoxicated with. This is the story of Tansi, who falls in love with a Deer Woman, for whom she harvests hearts. The story starts with a warning: NEVER FALL IN love with a deer woman. Deer women are wild and without reason. Their lips are soft as evensong, their skin dark as the mysteries of a moonless forest. A deer woman will make you do terrible things for a chance to dip your fingers inside her, to have her taste linger on your tongue. You will weep before it is over, the cries of one who has no relatives. But you will do whatever she asks. But who listens to warnings like that? Especially when they're young and in love and well-trained in butchering meat? Rebecca Roanhorse is a Nebula and Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her work has also been a finalist for the Sturgeon, Locus and World Fantasy awards. Her novel Trail of Lightning was selected as an Amazon, B&N, and NPR Best Book of 2018. She lives in Northern New Mexico with her husband, daughter, and pug. 'Kelsey and the Burdened Breath' by Darcie Little Badger This is a cleverly wrought 'What if?' story. It takes an original idea, 'What if everyone knew that the last breath of dying people and animals carried their essence somewhere?' Then it thinks through what that would mean. Where would last breaths go? Would they need any help? Then it adds two more 'What ifs': 'What if they didn't want to go?' and 'What if some of them were predators?' What makes this more than a neat story about the consequences of a good idea is that the story focuses not on the ideas but on a woman living alone in her dead parents' farmhouse with the Last Breath of her dog, Pal for company. Kelsey is the person who gives Last Breaths the help they need. She' also the one who gets called on the rare occasions when Last Breaths are a threat. The story is richer both because Kelsey is likeable and relatable and because Kelsey's journey isn't really about what Last Breaths do but about the choices the living get to make. Darcie Little Badger s an Earth scientist, writer, and fan of the weird, beautiful, and haunted. Her first novel, ELATSOE, is coming Summer 2020! She has a BA in Geosciences from Princeton University and a PhD in Oceanography from Texas A&M University.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Notkin

    All anthologies are uneven, but Nisi Shawl (who is a friend) is a superior editor, and there are many fine stories in this one. I want to single out Minsoo Kang's "The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations" which is pure comedy (and comedy is especially hard to write). I don't know if Kang was drawing on the old Doonesbury cartoons of Honey translating for Duke or not, but that's certainly what the story made me think of. Other favorites: Jaymee Goh's "The Freedom of the Shifting Sea," which All anthologies are uneven, but Nisi Shawl (who is a friend) is a superior editor, and there are many fine stories in this one. I want to single out Minsoo Kang's "The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations" which is pure comedy (and comedy is especially hard to write). I don't know if Kang was drawing on the old Doonesbury cartoons of Honey translating for Duke or not, but that's certainly what the story made me think of. Other favorites: Jaymee Goh's "The Freedom of the Shifting Sea," which re-envisions mermaid myths; E. Lily Yu's "Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire," which delves deeper into whether or not the emperor has any clothes;ab Karin Lowachee's "Blood and Bells," about polarization and identity complexities' and Andrea Hairston's "Dumb House," which I think I would admire even if it didn't revisit the future of some of my favorite Hairston characters. Well worth your time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    ONYX Pages

    4.5 Really enjoyed all the new speculative fiction! Great concept - great variety - interesting themes!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lukasz

    ARC through NetGalley Actual rating: 2.5/5 New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Colour, edited by Nishi Shawl, assembles science fiction, fantasy and horror stories by new and veteran authors. I'm in the mood for more Sci-fi. And I appreciate good covers and this one looks stunning. Yoshi Yoshitani's art rocks. I wonder why more authors don't get their art from him. I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies. Let's face it - each anthology is a grab bag. In a batch of stories, ARC through NetGalley Actual rating: 2.5/5 New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Colour, edited by Nishi Shawl, assembles science fiction, fantasy and horror stories by new and veteran authors. I'm in the mood for more Sci-fi. And I appreciate good covers and this one looks stunning. Yoshi Yoshitani's art rocks. I wonder why more authors don't get their art from him. I have a love/hate relationship with anthologies. Let's face it - each anthology is a grab bag. In a batch of stories, some will hook me, some won't. The art of short fiction is damn difficult. An author has only a few pages to hook me and make me root for the characters. Not an easy task. My ratings of short stories are always brutal. I'm not trying to deconstruct them to assess their structure, prose, crucial plot points. Nope. I rate my enjoyment. The stories that get one star from will become other readers' favourites. Below you'll find my thoughts on all stories assembled in New Suns. Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S. Buckell - 4.5/5 A fun one. Intergalactic tourism became the main source of income for US citizens. Aliens seek for a real American experience and they want a full range of what's Earth has to offer. When a stoned alien cephaloid falls to his death from a flying cab, intergalactic relationships become tricky. And no one desires complications when and where money is involved. Smart, entertaining and well written. I loved it. Deer Dancer by Kathleen Alcala - 2.5/5 A decent read showing that indigenous ways can increase the chances of survival in a decayed reality. Not surprising but interesting nonetheless. The weakest part of the story - forgettable characters. The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang - 1/5 Well written, but wordy and descriptive. I won't lie - it bored me. Approach it as a tale about the limitations of scholarly and historical reconstruction, set in an Asian-based fantasy world. Come Home to Atropos by Steven Barnes - 3/5 Short and decent, it offers an interesting take on the tourist economy of post-colonial countries. It seems even suicide can become an exotic and desired experience. The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu - 5/5 An excellent story about human desires, paternal loves and djinni. I loved it. It has a strong opening, it engages the reader emotionally and delivers a nice ending. Quality stuff. unkind mercy by Alex Jennings - 3/5 Ok. I didn't find it thrilling but it's clever. I appreciate it, but don't particularly like it. Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez - 2/5 Nope. Nothing in this story worked for me. I'm sure other readers will enjoy it, though. The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh - 1/5 I liked the idea of a mermaid tale retelling. Eunice Aphroditois - an aquatic predator, known also as a Bobbit Worm, is a top pick for such a retelling. The story, though, with its porno-horror vibe and fatal fellatio didn't appeal to me at all. Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire by E. Lily Yu - 3/5 An interesting and bloody reinterpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes. I liked it. Blood and Bells Karin Lowachee Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - 3/5 The Shadow We Cast Through Time by Indrapramit Das - 2.5/5 The story features exoplanetary folklore, deep space myth, and extraterrestrial demons that wear the bodies of our dead. Interesting, but experience proves Indra Das's writing isn't for me. Nothing wrong with it, I'm sure others will love it. I simply don't feel it. His flow isn't mine. The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon - 2.5/5 The story tries to see if post-humans outgrew their need for fiction. In the end, children outgrow their imaginary friends. Great idea, decent execution. Dumb House by Andrea Hairston - 3.5/5 It's an episode/vignette presenting the life of Cinnamon Jones, an old tech geek who used to love the theatre. After the Water Wars, she lives in a dumb house on her grandparents’ heirloom farm with her dog, Bruja, and three Circus-Bots. Weird(ish) and interesting. One Easy Trick, Hiromi Goto - 2/5 On a day off in the forest, Marnie loses her belly fat somewhere along the way. It literally disappears. Her voluminous belly roll is gone and she doesn't know if she should rejoice or despair. Her friend thinks Marnie had done a surgery somewhere in Mexico and feels betrayed. Marnie returns to the forest to find her Bellyfat. It's a weird story with interesting ideas. Ultimately, though, it didn't convince me. An ok read, but nothing more. Harvest by Rebecca Roanhorse - 3.5/5 The story tries to answer the question is falling in love with Deer Woman a good idea. A bloody business. Well written and punchy. Kelsey and the Burdened Breath, Darcie Little Badger - 3.5/5 Interesting take on gathering breaths (souls). I liked it and if I have any criticism it's the fact the story is a bit unclear. All in all, I find the anthology rather disappointing. I like when a collection of short stories has a common theme/leitmotif. Here I see no such thing apart from authors' ethnicity and race. Don't misunderstand me. I love the idea of promoting diversity in fantasy and sci-fi literature. That said, my reading expectations are very simple - I want to be thrilled. New Suns didn't thrill me. There were only two stories that spoke to me on a personal level. I didn't care much about the rest.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Octavia Butler once said, "There's nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns." And thus, New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Colour, edited by Nisi Shawl. It's a remarkable set of stories: varieties in genre and tone and settings and characters. Some of the authors are people whose work I've come across a bit (E. Lily Yu, Andrea Hairston) while many others I was only vaguely familiar with - and several whom I'd not heard of before. Which is generally a good sign, in an Octavia Butler once said, "There's nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns." And thus, New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Colour, edited by Nisi Shawl. It's a remarkable set of stories: varieties in genre and tone and settings and characters. Some of the authors are people whose work I've come across a bit (E. Lily Yu, Andrea Hairston) while many others I was only vaguely familiar with - and several whom I'd not heard of before. Which is generally a good sign, in an anthology, for me anyway.  I'm not going to go over every story, because that would be boring. I want to mention a few highlights to give a sense of the range of stories. Minsoo Kang's "The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations" hit my history-teacher heart right in the middle. I love way it's told - as an historian or archivist finding out more and more information - and I love the story that's told through that information, and I ADORE the 'Marginal note' at the end for the way it cuts through and kinda sums up a lot of what historians of marginal communities have been doing for several decades.  "Burn the Ships" by Alberto Yáñez also hit me in the heart, but for different reasons. When I read in his bio that he "draws on his Mexican and Jewish roots" to inform the story, I could absolutely see the parallels; it's not a re-telling of a story from either of those cultures, or a combining, but... using their histories, of conflict with The Other especially, to come up with perhaps the most emotional of all the stories in the anthology. It's just incredible. Indrapramit Das' "The Shadow We Cast Through Time" is a non-linear narrative that looks at the consequences of human settlement on alien planets, how societies shape themselves in response to danger - and vice versa - and the connections between people. It's gorgeous.  "Harvest," by Rebecca Roanhorse, is horrifying. I've now read a couple of stories that involve deer women, and I already know enough to never tangle with one willingly.  If you're looking for a non-themed anthology and you want to know who's hot right now in speculative fiction, you should pick this up. 

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    I'm a massive spec fic fan (both reading and writing it), but I find some of the popular stuff gets samey: either in a cod-medieval, Game of Thrones, doorstop series way; or in a only-this-straight-white-spaceman-can-save-the-world way. So I'm glad this book exists. I didn't love all the stories not because they're bad, they're just not my personal taste. Quite a few of them left me unsatisfied, asking more questions than were answered. Not necessarily a problem if you want a thought-provoking I'm a massive spec fic fan (both reading and writing it), but I find some of the popular stuff gets samey: either in a cod-medieval, Game of Thrones, doorstop series way; or in a only-this-straight-white-spaceman-can-save-the-world way. So I'm glad this book exists. I didn't love all the stories – not because they're bad, they're just not my personal taste. Quite a few of them left me unsatisfied, asking more questions than were answered. Not necessarily a problem if you want a thought-provoking read, but don't expect neat narratives. My favourite, not surprisingly, was Jaymee Goh's 'The Freedom of the Shifting Sea', about a murderous lesbian worm-woman. She's not technically a mermaid (as she's a worm-human mix rather than a fish-human mix), but she gave me the queer killer mermaid that I didn't even know I wanted. The final three stories were also great: Hiromi Goto on a woman pursued through the woods by her own belly fat, Rebecca Roanhorse on murderous deer women (what's my sudden desire for killer queers? I'm worrying myself), and Darcie Little Badger on a new sort of ghost. I'm giving this three stars because many of the stories weren't my cup of tea – but the ones that worked for me, I really liked.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn

    Even though Im not the biggest reader of short story collections, I was really looking forward to this one. Speculative and science fiction are two of my most beloved genres and as a Latinx reader I was thrilled to see that this collection is exclusively written by people of color. And Levar Burton wrote the introduction- sign me up! As science fiction, fantasy, and the like become increasingly popular, these are the voices that we need to be hearing from now more than ever. Like any other short Even though I’m not the biggest reader of short story collections, I was really looking forward to this one. Speculative and science fiction are two of my most beloved genres and as a Latinx reader I was thrilled to see that this collection is exclusively written by people of color. And Levar Burton wrote the introduction- sign me up! As science fiction, fantasy, and the like become increasingly popular, these are the voices that we need to be hearing from now more than ever. Like any other short story anthology, there are stories that are better than other ones, and stories that will appeal to some but won’t appeal to others. This collection was really no different. Some stories I loved, some I was okay with, others left me completely baffled. Yet as a whole, I did really enjoy reading all of these and do hope that this type of book is not a fluke. I’d love to see more, especially since so many of these stories featured LGBTQ+ characters; again, these are voices we need to be hearing from in not just this genre, but all genres. There were over a dozen stories and breaking down each one would have us here all day, so I’ll just mention a few that I really enjoyed. Deer Dancer by Kathleen Alcalá Set in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic world filled with communal tribes depending on each other for survival, this one was utterly filled with mysticism that seems to have evolved of its own accord as a result of the world the characters lived in. It was interesting to see that in relative modern times, we as humans really aren’t that far removed from mythological elements being such profound aspects of our lives. This was one of the few I would love to see expanded into its own novella or book. The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang The problem with short stories is that you need to be able to set a scene with characters people want to read about in relatively few pages. Often times, this is where short stories (sorry for the pun) fall short. The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations was not one of those stories. It was a sweeping, epic tale that was beautifully and thoroughly laid out and was easily my favourite one in the collection. It was profound and thought provoking, almost making you rethink the way history has always been written and remembered. Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez Mysticism was again key in this tale, and was another one I would love to see expounded as I was a little confused about who the invaders were and where they came from. It was more or less and allegory for the European expansion into Latin America, and being someone who had family on both sides of those events this story really spoke to me. It was truly moving and beautiful. Blood and Bells by Karin Lowachee Another one that set everything up perfectly with characters I grew attached to in only a few pages. My heart broke and rebroke several times throughout Blood and Bells, yet left me with a overwhelming sense of hope in the end. I’m keen to read more by this author. All in all, the collection balances itself out into a stunning collection of thought provoking, emotional, and wondrous tales. There were also a couple that were purely delightful, like One Easy Trick by Hiromi Goto about the runaway "Bellyfat." Whilst I usually put short story collections aside to read singular titles, New Suns has made me a convert. I’m going to be on the lookout now for similar anthologies and might just start reading other ones I’ve never had the mind to take notice of. I'm so grateful to the editor of this collection for bringing such amazing authors into my world. Thanks as well to the publisher and Netgalley for a copy of this in exchange for my review.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Claudia ✨

    I've really started getting into reading anthologies, and to be honest, I'm quite picky with them - I basically one read ones that are queer or PoC, as those are the themes I'm most interested in. Therefor, reading New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color was an absolute must. Nisi Shawl has done an amazing job collection stories, but as always with these collection, the quality does vary. I did find overall that even though the cover, at least to me, gives the impression that I've really started getting into reading anthologies, and to be honest, I'm quite picky with them - I basically one read ones that are queer or PoC, as those are the themes I'm most interested in. Therefor, reading New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color was an absolute must. Nisi Shawl has done an amazing job collection stories, but as always with these collection, the quality does vary. I did find overall that even though the cover, at least to me, gives the impression that this is catered to a younger audience, the stories were of a more mature nature. Not only in a sexual way, although that is the case too, but just the overall tone; they felt complex and weird in a very not YA way. As for my favorites, I absolutely adored Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez. This story told of an Aztec woman who takes matters into her own hands and in doing so dooms herself when the Spanish enslaves and murders her people. The writing was raw and gorgeous, and fit the bloody and ghastly atmosphere perfectly. It was beautiful, but also a horrible reminder of the atrocities that Europeans have committed. The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh had a kind of mermaid-like creature in it, and therefor I was immediately drawn in. This did make me a bit uncomfortable at times though, mostly because of the themes it explored and how gorey and weirdly sexual it often was. (view spoiler)[I have to admit that it bothered me that Mayang had a sexual relationship with both mother and daughter, and I really, really hate centipedes. (hide spoiler)] Still, I did enjoy this, and it's one of the more memorable ones from the collection. I wasn't too impressed with Blood and Bells by Karin Lowachee until the ending. It had much potential, but I wanted more explanation about the world that I so enjoyed the feel of. The thing that really hooked me was the father-son relationship, which I feel is so rare that we get to read about from the fathers perspective, and it was very sweet. The ending just hit the nail on the hammer for me. I've read The Devourers by Indra Das before, and that is one of my favorite books ever. I can't stress how uncomfortable their writing make me, while still making me unable to look away with how gorgeous and unique it is. The Shadow We Cast Through Time was just more of that, and I want it as a full novel; the new, strange world, demons, hair-towers and all. Harvest by Rebecca Roanhorse explored just how far we are willing to go for the people we love, while introducing us to a deer woman and Tansi, who loves her. It also taught me about some horrid historical events that took place in the States - of massacres where Native Americans were left dead and without any homes, all which I'd never heard of before. It hurt my heart not only how much pain Native Americans really have gone through, but also how much that has been forgotten or dismissed. Roanhorses story was a reminder of just how painful that generational trauma really is. Those were my absolute favorites, stories that I will remember for a long time. The rest unfortunately did not leave as much of a mark, and were only okay. Still, I really recommend picking New Suns up, as it is a rare gem in anthologies with both the own voices aspect and how different and new all these stories are.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jacqie

    Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review. This is a really good anthology. It highlights speculative fiction of all sorts from people of color. Here's a list of the authors included: Kathleen Alcala, Minsoo Kang, Anil Menon, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Alex Jennings, Alberto Yanez, Steven Barnes, Jaymee Goh, Karin Lowachee, E. Lily Yu, Andrea Hairston, Tobias Buckell, Hiromi Goto, Rebecca Roanhorse, Indrapramit Das, Chinelo Onwualu and Darcie Little Badger. Tobias Buckell kicks Thanks to Netgalley for providing a copy of this book for review. This is a really good anthology. It highlights speculative fiction of all sorts from people of color. Here's a list of the authors included: Kathleen Alcala, Minsoo Kang, Anil Menon, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Alex Jennings, Alberto Yanez, Steven Barnes, Jaymee Goh, Karin Lowachee, E. Lily Yu, Andrea Hairston, Tobias Buckell, Hiromi Goto, Rebecca Roanhorse, Indrapramit Das, Chinelo Onwualu and Darcie Little Badger. Tobias Buckell kicks off the collection with a tongue-in-cheek piece about a gig-economy driver just trying to get by ferrying Galactics (beings from alien worlds) around New York City. There's a dark, dark humor piece by Steven Barnes inviting people interested in dying to come to a beautiful tropical island country to perish (although their death might not be quite as peaceful as the ads portray). There's a piece on gang life and family love by Karin Lowachee that was quite touching. There is a story by Indrapramit Das that combines colony ships, alien "demons" and ecology along with a colonizing culture that has come to a disturbing accommodation with the planet's ecology. Hiromi Goto has a hilarious and yet sweet story about a woman whose belly fat jumps off of her during a hike in the woods and runs off like a cute little anime character, refusing to come back because the main character has never really come to terms with her belly fat. The stories are all high quality and Nisi Shawl, the editor, has done an amazing job with assembling them. There were quite a few authors I'd been interested in reading but hadn't got to, and more that I'm now interested in seeking out. That means the collection did a great job of bringing authors to the readers' attention.

  15. 4 out of 5

    S. Barker

    Great anthology, really heterogeneous in the best sense: there is a story for everyone. The best SFF is, in my opinion, the one that extrapolates from a real world issue. There is a lot of that here, from exploitative tourism to the erasure of women in History, along some stories purely for fun. I loved Darcie Little Badger's story: "Kelsey and the Burdened Breath". Great idea and worldbuilding, wonderful writing. "Come Home to Atropos", by Steven Barnes, was BRUTAL, absolutely amazing. But my Great anthology, really heterogeneous in the best sense: there is a story for everyone. The best SFF is, in my opinion, the one that extrapolates from a real world issue. There is a lot of that here, from exploitative tourism to the erasure of women in History, along some stories purely for fun. I loved Darcie Little Badger's story: "Kelsey and the Burdened Breath". Great idea and worldbuilding, wonderful writing. "Come Home to Atropos", by Steven Barnes, was BRUTAL, absolutely amazing. But my favourite was "The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations", by Minsoo Kang. As a translator, it was real fun reading two colleagues doing the outrageous for the greater good. Not all stories connected with me, but all in all, it was a great read. (I recieved a copy through Netgalley!)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anna Tan

    I'm thinking really hard about what I want to say in this review because I do want to be supportive about spec fic by POC but I also want to be real. And honestly, either my expectations were too high (most likely) or I don't know what I want (I never know what I want), because I finished the book with a slight sense of discontent. I guess as anthologies go, this is a proper mixed bag. There were 5 that I really liked and 4 that I liked but had some reservations about? So thats already 9/17, I'm thinking really hard about what I want to say in this review because I do want to be supportive about spec fic by POC but I also want to be real. And honestly, either my expectations were too high (most likely) or I don't know what I want (I never know what I want), because I finished the book with a slight sense of discontent. I guess as anthologies go, this is a proper mixed bag. There were 5 that I really liked and 4 that I liked but had some reservations about? So that’s already 9/17, which is more than half. There were only three that I found very confusing or weird, which I guess just goes to say that it was a nice, interesting read, but nothing especially spectacular, no matter how much I was hoping to be blown away. I guess I really did expect too much. (You can see that inconsistency here, don’t you?) STUFF I REALLY LIKED, in no particular order. The Fine Print - Chinelo Onwualu Djinn! Always here for the djinn. This has a kind of Aladdin feel, but also a very lawyer-y thing going on. I’m looking for a term to describe it but can’t think. Like the smart, fast-talking guy trying to get out of a contract. Oh. I know what I was thinking of. I was thinking of that scene in the American Gods TV series with the djinn. (I can’t recall the book well enough now to remember if that was in it too? I know the TV series did add some scenes.) Burn the Ships - Alberto Yanez THIS IS THE CONTENT I'M LOOKING FOR. Lush, rich worldbuilding, magic oozing out of every pore. There’s this intricate weaving of faith versus lore, a juxtaposition of male priesthood and women's magic; both doing what they believe to be right, letting the other go in love. Beauty and death. Anger and life. Dumb House - Andrea Hairston I don’t really know how to explain why I like this one. Most of it is just the Cinnamon trying to chase off these two annoying salesmen who are trying to make her upgrade her dumb house into a smart one. Nothing really happens at the end. But it was amusing. I suppose I liked the humour. Blood and Bells - Karin Lowachee Though the first prologue (?) threw me, the story unfolded in beautiful ways. An utterly charming story (it has an adorable kid) that ended in an unexpected way. Kelsey and the Burdened Breath - Darcie Little Badger I love the concept in this. It’s kind of bittersweet plus nostalgic with a side of ghostbuster detecting. I don’t think I’m explaining myself very well. STUFF I KINDA LIKE BUT I DUNNO? The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations - Minsoo Kang I liked this, like a little Chinese historical story, but it was a little too wordy and repetitive at places. I think there was this bit which felt like they backtracked and retold part of the story and then there was this addendum about omitting the female point of view which just felt a bit awkward. Stylistically on point, but could have done with a little editing down. The Freedom of the Shifting Sea - Jaymee Goh Storywise, I liked it, but it was a little gross, honestly. It would honestly be in my “really liked” section if it didn’t have the weird (mandible?) sex. Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire - E. Lily Yu A straightforward retelling of The Emperor's New Clothes. I see no lie here. Last variation sounded just a little bit too forced, but tone is a very easily misinterpreted thing, so it could just be my own biases. The Shadow We Cast Through Time - Indrapramit Das As much as I liked this, it was a little hard to follow. There’s a nice mythic storytelling feel to it, but it also came across like too much story in too few words. I had this overall feeling that I was missing something that maybe wasn’t being explained well enough? Or maybe like a myth that was just a bit too obscure and I’m too far distant to understand it. I wasn’t going to mention the others I didn’t like, but I guess I’ll give One Easy Trick - Hiromi Goto a quick mention. I did like this in the beginning, but it got weirder and weirder until I was like.. uh, wth? So really, I’m quite ambivalent. I don’t know what to think. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Devann

    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley actual rating: 2.5 I hate to give this such a low rating, but I apparently was just not in the mood to focus on an anthology because I found this to be kind of difficult to get through. There were a few stories in here that I definitely enjoyed, but there were also several that I didn't even finish. Of course in any anthology there is going to be a difference in quality between stories, but I found my attention wandering more than usual here. It I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley actual rating: 2.5 I hate to give this such a low rating, but I apparently was just not in the mood to focus on an anthology because I found this to be kind of difficult to get through. There were a few stories in here that I definitely enjoyed, but there were also several that I didn't even finish. Of course in any anthology there is going to be a difference in quality between stories, but I found my attention wandering more than usual here. It might have been more that I was in the wrong mood than anything else so don't let my review deter you from trying it if you generally really like anthologies.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michaela (Journey into Books)

    *I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* This is an amazing anthology of stories by POC. I'm also was weary of short story collections but I loved this ones. It spans a variety of genres from horror to fantasy to sci-fi, each story was well written and there wasn't one that I didn't like. Some of my favourites were The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations, The Freedom of the Shifting Sea and Harvest. I gave this 4 out of 5 *I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review* This is an amazing anthology of stories by POC. I'm also was weary of short story collections but I loved this ones. It spans a variety of genres from horror to fantasy to sci-fi, each story was well written and there wasn't one that I didn't like. Some of my favourites were The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations, The Freedom of the Shifting Sea and Harvest. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Story

    Some of these stories left me breathless, like Indrapramit Das's and Rebecca Roanhorse's contributions. Others washed over me like a slow wave, where their impact didn't seem big, but then I turned the story over in my mind again and again, like E. Lily Yu's. Normally, an anthology contains at least a story or two that I just feel "meh" about, but in this collection, the bar was higher. Even the stories I felt more neutrally about lingered. This is really an excellent collection, and I want to Some of these stories left me breathless, like Indrapramit Das's and Rebecca Roanhorse's contributions. Others washed over me like a slow wave, where their impact didn't seem big, but then I turned the story over in my mind again and again, like E. Lily Yu's. Normally, an anthology contains at least a story or two that I just feel "meh" about, but in this collection, the bar was higher. Even the stories I felt more neutrally about lingered. This is really an excellent collection, and I want to just push it into people's hands.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Avery Delany

    "For centuries we have been this brilliant. Now, though, our numbers have grown. And we shine together. Would you like more of what you've read here? Wider constellations, greater galaxies of original speculative fiction by People of Color? Then seek us out. Spread the word. Wish on us, reach for us, and yes, let us gather together in the deep, dark nurseries of stars. Let us congregate. This is how new suns are born."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Neveah

    Whilst Im giving all of these five stars before the results are out, lets just say that I dont usually like short stories as a medium and this book is head and shoulders above all but one of the other entries... Whilst I’m giving all of these five stars before the results are out, let’s just say that I don’t usually like short stories as a medium and this book is head and shoulders above all but one of the other entries...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Rooyen

    Like in every anthology, there were hits and misses for me in this collection, but overall I highly recommend this collection to anyone looking to diversify their SFF reading list and possibly discover new authors. The stories by Rebecca Roanhorse and Darcie Little Badger (right at the end of the antho!) were absolute stand-outs for me. I loved them! I also really enjoyed the story by Alberto Yáñez and hope to read more of his work in the future!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Reading In The Dark

    This is not the first such anthology, as I note in the books dedication, and these are not the first authors of color writing imaginative fiction, as many students of the genres history are aware. For centuries we have been this brilliant. - Nisi Shawl, editor INDEED! New Suns is a smart, endlessly inventive collection of stories. So many new ideas, so many brilliantly envisioned worlds, so much diversity. Some stories were a tad too odd even for me, but even those that werent my favorites offered “This is not the first such anthology, as I note in the book’s dedication, and these are not the first authors of color writing imaginative fiction, as many students of the genre’s history are aware. For centuries we have been this brilliant.” - Nisi Shawl, editor INDEED! New Suns is a smart, endlessly inventive collection of stories. So many new ideas, so many brilliantly envisioned worlds, so much diversity. Some stories were a tad too odd even for me, but even those that weren’t my favorites offered up concepts and ideas I’d never imagined. I will say I didn’t get on with some of the writing, and there was some re-reading going on. But those instances were few and far between. Throughout my reading of this anthology I was amazed by the consistent quality of the world-building. Several stories had me begging for an expanded novel because the invention and imagination was just so vivid and wonderful. Favorites were The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang, Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez, and Blood and Bells by Karin Lowachee. I’ll be following a lot of these authors in the future, and as a side note I really think Nisi Shawl’s afterword is a great read. Great collection. BREAKDOWN: The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S. Buckell Okay this was cute and hilarious and adorable. Loved the whimsical but somehow simultaneously cynical view of the future. Galactic tourists visiting Manhattan trying to find the most authentically human experiences as possible. I’d like to watch this series. More so, I’d read a full novel in this world! Great start to this collection. **** Deer Dancer by Kathleen Alcalá Super intriguing, dystopian, and truly short. Seems to me a full appreciation for this story would require me to be more insightful about dreams. I’m a little unsure what conclusion to draw but again, I’d like to read more in this world. *** The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang So fantastic!!! This is a thick read at first, dense with terms and phrases culled from the author’s imagined world. The world building here is awesome! What this story has to say about the vanity and stubbornness of leaders is painfully relevant at the time I’m writing this review, and the story of a crisis averted by those working tirelessly and brilliantly in the background is inspiring. But the end is what really got me going. Brilliant commentary on perspective and bias in reportage, fiction writing and character building. LOVED this and LEARNED from it! ***** Come Home to Atropos by Steven Barnes Wow. That’s all I can say. Cynical, sarcastic, angry, morbid, and wickedly funny. This is an indictment of colonialism and racism, served up like arsenic pie with a smile. Going back and re-reading the first paragraph after finishing was doubly amusing. (I highly recommend doing that.) YAS. ***** The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu This story has a lot to say about misogyny and the glorification of men over women. It seems to be indicting “mankind” for asking so many sacrifices of women in service of a male-centric value system. I always enjoy a good Djinn story and I really liked the writing here. But the bargaining for the protagonist’s half-human son here seems too easily accomplished. Overall I’d say this story seemed to end prematurely with too little conflict. *** Unkind of Mercy by Alex Jennings Creepy, great voice, spooky, weird. Loved the slow comfort the narrator starts to feel with all the spirits around her. Loved the backdrop of her devotion to Johnny, and the detail of his career situation. Ending was trippy, spine-tingling, and a great twist. **** Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez “He won’t countenance the magic that could save them, not if it embraces the dark between the stars.” Wow so this one was badass. A woman whose people have been enslaved by white men turns her back on the traditions and rules of her ancient religion to save all of their lives...despite her devout husband’s objections. The way this protagonist, Citlal, deals with her god and the entrenched dogma her husband has swallowed is really exciting—and the story has a fantastic ending. ***** The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh Story of two generations of women forsaking heterosexual relationships with men...for the life and affections of a half woman, half centipede, punctuated by an especially cool depiction of a man being murdered by a mermaid. Odd, amusing, and bold. *** Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire by E. Lily Yu This seemed like far too straightforward a political allegory for me to enjoy. All I could think of from the first line was how the author wanted to adapt The Emperor’s New Clothes to comment on Trump. Now, it’s certainly possible that’s my American bias cutting through and imposing itself on the author, but it seemed very clear to me. The observations are of course accurate, but the story felt obvious and too self-aware for me to enjoy. ** Blood and Bells by Karin Lowachee Wow I loved this one. This is a story about the importance and true meaning of family, blood and otherwise, and about the cycles of violence we perpetuate in western society, especially among people of color. The story is a brilliant indictment of how people of color are systematically kept down and forced to fight amongst themselves, but serves as a hopeful reminder of their humanity and the potential for greatness our world could unlock if we were to stop that cycle. The characters in Blood and Bells employ a unique dialect, and it does wonders for subtle world building. I adored this dystopian but simultaneously optimistic story. Would read a novel about this world! ***** Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Simple but fun. Story of a woman who is not the ordinary human she appears to be, and never has been. There’s a backstory regarding her past, a family tragedy, and a chilling encounter on a subway train. It’s not totally clear to me what it all adds up to, but I dug it anyway. Is she a witch? Is she a normal human? Does she get to choose? I wish it had been longer and taken her farther. *** The Shadow We Cast Through Time by Indrapramit Das This story was really hard for me to read. It’s written in a rather free way that mixes metaphor with action and doesn’t hold your hand along the way, so I was challenged. I found myself having to re-read entire passages because I was stumbling over what was actually being said. That said, those are probably GOOD things for me in my reading journey. But it meant the experience was not super enjoyable. But the idea of humans on a new world populated by demons, who are the living embodiment of death, our “shadow,” is an intoxicating one, and I can’t escape the feeling that this should have been more of a highlight for me than it was. I think I’d get on better with the writing style if I were reading it in a longer format. It usually takes me a while to adjust to an authorial style or flair that’s unfamiliar to me and so that definitely hampered my enjoyment of this story. *** The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon This story has so many levels. It seems to be saying a lot of things at once—about mastering one’s emotions, apathy, society’s tendency to over-medicate, racial and class disparity with regard to education and opportunity, internalized racism, and delves into several confounding meta layers of discussing fiction and literature. I adored it and the ending. This story I would say is perfect as it is, no novel needed. That said, I’d happily read an expanded version anyway as certain story developments could lead to more. ***** Dumb House by Andrea Hairston I liked this story a lot. Seems to be set in a world after a devastating water shortage, suggested by repeated references to the “Water War.” Cinnamon is a fun narrator and I liked her home, her dogs, and her long-standing friendships with Marie and Klaus. The story didn’t seem to add up to much by the end, but I always enjoy nostalgia and reunions between old friends. *** One Easy Trick by Hiromi Goto Weird. I mean it’s well-written of course, it’s funny, and I was always engaged by the story and it’s pacing, etc. But as it moved along I began to think it was striking me as funny in ways that weren’t intentional. I appreciated the themes explored for sure, and I liked the anthropomorphism of the forest and several other living things. But at the end of the day I think that maybe I just...don’t get it? This story swayed too far into absurdity for me and I ultimately just found myself puzzled by the point. ** Harvest by Rebecca Roanhorse I appreciate the sentiment and message here, and the writing is fine. I’m into reading about obsessive love affairs and I definitely like the queer aspects to the story. I will say I was left feeling a little underwhelmed at the end, as if it had been inevitable all along and there were no surprises. But it was the right ending, and overall this one was excellent. I’m glad I read it but I still think something was missing for me that could have made it a five star read. **** Kelsey and the Burdened Breath by Darcie Little Badger Great story! Presents a world with a pretty intimate understanding of life after death; the last breaths of living things drift up and away into the sky towards the afterlife by a five much like upside down gravity. But they can be trapped by solid objects like buildings, caves, even backpacks. Story follows a woman whose job it is to locate these trapped “shimmers” and help them free. She’s hired to track down a murderous shimmer that has been eating other last breaths to stay pinned to the earth. Really cool concept and a nice protagonist. I appreciated the open ending. ****

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Harris

    New Suns contains seventeen stories by writers of colour, raging across many genres - including science fiction, fantasy, horror, retold fairy stories, alternate history, religion, crime and romance - indeed often more than one, almost all with a speculative tinge but with no intention to pursue an overall theme. I have seen some reviews that lament that, but while I love a themed anthology as much as anyone, it really isn't necessary (in my view) for at least three reasons. First, reading these New Suns contains seventeen stories by writers of colour, raging across many genres - including science fiction, fantasy, horror, retold fairy stories, alternate history, religion, crime and romance - indeed often more than one, almost all with a speculative tinge but with no intention to pursue an overall theme. I have seen some reviews that lament that, but while I love a themed anthology as much as anyone, it really isn't necessary (in my view) for at least three reasons. First, reading these stories, there is, I think, a commonality which pretty much amounts to a theme. In their different ways, many of these stories explore the position of marginalised people or the effects of power, colonialism or inequality. Even where these themes are not in the foreground they are often visible as part of the furniture of the story. That's not surprising, given that the writers are explicitly identified as people of colour, but the fact that it's not, itself, an overtly imposed theme allows for a more subtle exploration of these issues than if there were an overall theme - and it also means the writers aren't being expected to act as spokespeople just because of who they are. Secondly - and more simply - general anthologies, with no theme, are a thing and a perfectly fine thing at that. And many of them have in the past been largely male and white, as well, so even the idea of an implicit theme arising from the choice of the authors is not exactly new. Finally - and I think this is the most important point - these stories are generally of a very high standard and eminently readable. They're fun! A collection of great stories is a Good Thing and, obviously, how far the editor ranges to assemble one is the real test of any anthology. And here Nisi Shawl has done an excellent job. So - on to the stories. What's in the book? The stories included are The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Tobias Buckell Deer Dancer - Kathleen Alcalá The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations - Minsoo Kang Come Home to Atropos - Steven Barnes The Fine Print - Chinelo Onwualu Unkind of Mercy - Alex Jennings Burn The Ships - Alberto Yañez The Freedom of the Shifting Sea - Jaymee Goh Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire - E Lily Yu Blood and Bells - Karin Lowachee Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister - Silvia Moreno-Garcia The Shadow We Cast Through Time - Indrapramit Das The Robots of Eden - Anil Menon Dumb House -Andrea Hairston One Easy Trick - Hiromi Goto Harvest - Rebecca Roanhorse Kelsey and the Burdened Death - Darcie Little Badger) There is also a Foreword by LeVar Burton and an Afterword by Nisi Shawl, which both set the context for the collection. The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex (Tobias Buckle) imagines Earth - by implication, but specifically the US and New York City, as the location for the story - at the receiving end of tourist culture, having to defer to the foibles of "Galactics" with their strange food and smells and their desire for "authentic" Earth culture ("Over half of the US economy was tourism, the rest service jobs"). It's a focussed story, making one point but making it well. Deer Dancer (Kathleen Alcalá) has a sense of mystery about it. In a post-apocalyptic society which is seeking to rebuild, Tater (named after the root vegetable) loves "imagining what it was like Before, when the sun was scarce". She has some affinity for animals, and enters a dream state which takes the story to strange places. One of those stories where perhaps nothing happens, perhaps everything, the dream here seem freighted with meaning and to point a way forward for the precarious community living on the Edges. The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations (Minsoo Kang) is framed as a discussion of history, in a setting that (to me) seemed to echo distant Chinese history, written almost as if it were the notes of a seminar or a lecture, of the futility of war ("the copses of ambitious leaders, obedient soldiers, and powerless civilians lay in numbers like grains of sand upon a blood-soaked shore") and the utility of finding ways to avoid it, even at the cost of disobedience. It also points up the power of those invisible to history ("very little can be affirmed about her identity due... to the... lack of information about women...") In its celebration of the outwitting of a powerful and arrogant but dull minded leader I felt a rather cogent point was being made about the present day. Come Home to Atropos (Steven Barnes) is almost, I'd say, not a story at all. A script for an advertising campaign it features a caribbean (I think) island being marketed to rise, white, elderly - and wealthy - people. But this is no paradise. There has seemingly been a hurricane, but little help has been offered. So is the idea to attract foreign money by marketing the place as a paradise? if so, it doesn't perhaps quite hit the right note... but if it's aiming at other needs, other desires, of its clientele - as it seems, in a rather barded way, it is - then maybe business can be done. A deliciously sharp story. I worked out fairly early what was going on, but that only made a succession of revelations more and more delicious. The Fine Print (Chinelo Onwualu) is a variation on the idea of how bitter it can be to be granted wishes. The technology has been updated, with a Catalogue, call centres and cubicles offices, but the tension between human will and the ineffable remains, as do the dangers of backing mysogyny with great external power - whether that's colonial power or magical. Unkind of Mercy (Alex Jennings) was one of my favourite stories here. Jennings cleverly introduces us to a comedian, Johnny, who's moved to LA hoping to make it big but it soon becomes clear that the story is, rather about the woman (Alaina-Rose, not introduced till well into the story) who's narrating everything and who, through the shifting tone of her monologue, is perfectly characterised ("...and I mean, he's not wrong, but he's not right either.") It is, I suppose, more of a horror story than anything else - but one of those where rather than seeing something terrible we're led up to it by that oh-so-ordinary narration. Quite chilling, and more so the more you turn it over in your mind. When I was at my secondary school, I took part in a school production of the play The Royal Hunt of the Sun. Portraying the conquest of the Inca Empire by Spanish invaders, a scene that has stuck in my mind is of the death (the murder) of Atahualpa, the Inca leader and of the quiet faith of his people that he will rise again to scatter the invaders. of course he does not. Burn The Ships (Alberto Yañez) is a complex, horrific story set in a reality that recalls that: technologically advanced intruders have subjugated a Native population in an astonishingly short time and are committing genocide and seeking to destroy what remains of the traditional religion and culture. But this isn't exactly 15th or 16th century South America, nor, I think, quite earth. Modern technology is referred to but its users seems have fled something - there's almost an implication of alternate realities or gates between universes. The theme is, though, firmly the lengths one might go to to defend one's people, one's culture with women turning forbidden magics and rites while their menfolk sit on their hands - and haughty gods who care little for their people. A lot of food for thought here. The Freedom of the Shifting Sea (Jaymee Goh) was another favourite of mine. Almost or actually a romance, it kind of turns the mermaid legend inside out - in both story and gender terms - as well making the half woman, half-seaworm encountered on, I think, an Indonesian island ("Mayang could remember a time before British imperialism") a Muslim and family that becomes entwined with her part local, part Western. Featuring a real punch-the-air moment when a rather nasty characters gets a deserved fate, it is a clever, funny story. Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire (E Lily Yu) revisits a familiar story that never goes out of style and might have a rather obvious reference ("Once there was a vain and foolish emperor, who made up for his foolishness by a kind of low cunning...") However, nothing here is too obvious and the three versions of the story that interweave make this retelling a rather subtle thing. Who is the greater villain - emperor, or tailor? Blood and Bells (Karin Lowachee), set in an unspecified city given over the gang conflict between "The Nine Nations" is a variant on Romeo and Juliet, a kind of ultra-tuned West Side Story featuring mixed loyalties, death, and loss. Tzak's mother died as he was born; now his father Taiyo tries to keep him safe from opposing factions and to ward off attempts by his mother's people to take him back. This is a convincing portrayal of a young man shouldering immense burdens in an impossible world, a claustrophobic world that seems set on destroying everything he holds dear. It has a real sense of menace, of tension. How to describe Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister (Silvia Moreno-Garcia)? Frankly, I can't. It just is itself, or something: anything you say just misses the point. What it is, is a gem of a story asking the question (I think) "what is a monster?" The Shadow We Cast Through Time (Indrapramit Das) is, at first sight, a very classic science fiction story about settling other worlds, about the interaction with what was there before. But it turns into more of a reflection on how we alter everything we interact with; there's a sense that the "demons" described on the New World that Das takes us to are more a product of the colonists than a "pristine" feature of an "empty" world. We can't get away form ourselves, we take ourselves wherever we go, and thus there is almost a kind of ecology between the strange "clay spires" described here and the humans. A haunting, entrancing story, part SF, part, in the end, horror. Dumb House (Andrea Hairston) felt like an exploration for what could become a longer study of a an economically post-apocalyptic society - something like The Space Merchants - where consumption is mandated and hold-out communities - as that of Cinnamon Jones, tucked away in the remote countryside - persecuted. Here we meet two sinister-comic "salesmen" who may in reality be spies but who do seem to find a way to get under Jones' skin... also featuring a ghost-dog and a witch-dog, traditional culture is here enlisted on the side of the resistance. I'd happily read a longer, more detailed account of this struggle. One Easy Trick (Hiromi Goto) is a clever, circular story focussing on another aspect of oppression, body size and body image. Marine is hunted online by adverts trying to tell her of "Ways to Lose Your Belly Fat!". But she doesn't want to. or Does she? Getting right into that area of ambivalence where a sense of self can be lost, where one can lose track of whether one is reacting to societal pressures or really doing what one wants, which is speculative fiction at its best, externalising a metaphor in a most astonishing way which nevertheless convinces. Another of my favourites. Harvest (Rebecca Roanhorse). A strange harvest, in this story, seems intended to settle historical injustices - but to unsettle the reader, eventually creating an atmosphere where it's hard to know what to trust, what is real and what isn't, whose wrongs are being revenged. Never, as the story, says, fall in love with a deer woman... Kelsey and the Burdened Death (Darcie Little Badger) is a clever little story that could be an episode in an urban fantasy series. In an alternate world where the final breaths not only of humans but of animals are prone to linger and can cause trouble, Kelsey's business is to usher them over to - wherever they belong. Confronted with a particularly trouble "burdened" breath she shows considerable courage and resource in dealing with it and I could see a series of such adventures - except that this story is as much about her reconciliation with her past, something she can only approach by risking the loose of what is most dear to her. A genuinely sad, touching story, one of may favourites, which definitely ended the collection on a high. It's a strong collection. Short stories are tricky things to write, often coming over as extended treatments of a single point or, having little space to develop characters, having to rely on stock figures. There's little of either fault here with most of these protagonists believable in their circumstances, even where these are horrifying of mystifying circumstances. There's a lot to think about and a lot which is seen from a very distinct point of view. I'd strongly recommend both for all these virtues and also as a gateway into these authors' wider bodies of work.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea

    It's always so hard to review anthologies, as there are bound to be some stories that work and some that don't. Overall, this is an anthology that is strong on the dystopia and bleak side of science-fantasy, which isn't my favourite thing, but there are some great pieces in here. Stand outs for me are: Minsoo Kang's The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations - a clever psuedo-historical text on the ways in which translation can be as crucial as the original texts. Rebecca Roanhorse's Harvest - creepy It's always so hard to review anthologies, as there are bound to be some stories that work and some that don't. Overall, this is an anthology that is strong on the dystopia and bleak side of science-fantasy, which isn't my favourite thing, but there are some great pieces in here. Stand outs for me are: Minsoo Kang's The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations - a clever psuedo-historical text on the ways in which translation can be as crucial as the original texts. Rebecca Roanhorse's Harvest - creepy and atmospheric. Steven Barnes's Come Home to Atropos - so good I read it twice straight through. The perfect use of satire to unnerve. Darcie Little Badger's Kelsey and the Burdened Breath - I'd read a whole series of this paranormal investigator's adventures! Some didn't work for me, but are clearly well-written: Chinelo Onwualu's The Fine Print - clever story of a deal with the devil, but I found it quite misogynistic. Jaymee Goh's The Freedom of the Shifting Sea - some gorgeous writing, but I'm not hugely keen on body-horror, and there's a lot of quite graphic sex scenes featuring a 'worm-woman' who has chitinous segments and can unhinge her jaw. Without the sex, I would have put this in the 'standout' list. Some were just okay: Tobias Buckell's The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex could have been found in any of the yellow-spined sci-fi anthologies of the 70s or 80s. Lily Yu's Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire would have been better if it had just been the initial variation, as I think the reader had got the point by then! And some were downright bizarre, such as Hiromi Goto's One Easy Trick, which is about a woman whose belly fat runs away. Suuuper weird. So, a mixed bag for me. I really would have liked more cohesion in the theming of the anthology, but I understand that as I am not an #ownvoices reviewer for any of the stories in this book, I may well be missing something. I think it will make a lot of people happy, and would recommend it to any sci-fi reader looking to broaden their horizons.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Runalong

    Loved the variety of genres and tales in this anthology - several I will be on the lookout for in future Full review - https://www.runalongtheshelves.net/bl...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen Hoskins

    New Suns is a collection, drawn together and edited by the legendary author and editor Nisi Shawl, of stories by authors of colour. It opens with an epigraph from Octavia E. Butler: "There's nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns." This collection is a journey into different worlds under different sunsworlds drawing from, to some degree or other, the histories of peoples other than the western WASPish hegemony. The short stories here are as varied as their authors, from 'Burn The Ships', New Suns is a collection, drawn together and edited by the legendary author and editor Nisi Shawl, of stories by authors of colour. It opens with an epigraph from Octavia E. Butler: "There's nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns." This collection is a journey into different worlds under different suns—worlds drawing from, to some degree or other, the histories of peoples other than the western WASPish hegemony. The short stories here are as varied as their authors, from 'Burn The Ships', Alberto Yáñez’ eviscerating account of a people’s overcoming their Holocaust by means of forbidden magics, to Minsoo Kang’s 'The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations', a pseudo-historical account of a pair of translators that prevent a bloody war between their nations. A woman loses her belly fat in the woods in Hiromi Goto’s ‘One Easy Trick’, and in Rebecca Roanhorse’s ‘Harvest’ a Native woman in New York City falls for a deer woman who convinces her to commit murders. The thread in this collection is diversity. You step from one story to the next and you never know where you’re going to end up next. It’s a scintillating experience of an anthology. That said, there are themes that crop up more than once. The weight of history lies on some of these stories, and their characters navigate their minefields in their own ways. Closest to our own timeline, Steven Barnes’ ‘Come Home to Atropos’ is a story that takes the form of advertising copy for a Caribbean island called Atropos, targeting euthanasia tourism at white people—it’s a deeply uncomfortable story because of the language it uses, and it’s meant to be. ’The Fine Print’ by Chinelo Onwualu features a man rebelling against the powerful djinn and its corporation that rules his unnamed African country through consumerist wish-fulfilment. The djinn is a successor to and in many ways a symbol of the colonialist state that the people were subject to. It’s a critique of 21st century corporate enslavement as well as the white supremacy that the djinn replaced. In Tobias Bucknell’s opening story, 'The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex', we’re thrown into a New York City full of flying cabs and alien tourists, but the inequality remains the same. Our cab-driver protagonist Tavi lives out near Queens in a falling-down apartment building kept running by its inhabitants, while only the ultra-rich and the galactic tourists can afford to stay and play in Manhattan. One of my favourite stories in the book continues the theme. Karin Lowachee’s ‘Blood and Bells’ collapses the distinction between city gangs and distinct nations, so that in her city of Emidit the streets are divided into national territories and ruled by shifting allegiances. There’s still a ruling class here with the police in their pocket, and the divisions between the nations make life in Emidit into a matter of staying within your own boundaries. Something that many of the stories in the collection share is the hope they invest in the future. That hope takes different forms. Kathleen Alcalá’s story ‘Dear Dancer’ depicts a post-climate-apocalypse north America where inequality and scarcity still shape the world, but the communities that live on society’s fringe are free to make their own family and live peacefully, practically, and love and support one another. Andrea Hairston explores a similar world in her story 'Dumb House'. An interstellar future features in Indrapramit Das’ ’The Shadow We Cast Through Time’, in which another kind of quiet societal collapse occurs: a planet’s colony loses touch with the wider galactic society. The community finds themselves left alone with the creatures—the demons—that inhabit their planet. The oppositional relationship to the demons that the name implies is part of the twist—the demons represent a new way of life, a nature beyond human—post-human even—and the possibility of radical change. There's no single theme you can pin on this collection. Instead, ideas surface and resurface, worlds spin by in a dizzying, fascinating parade. I can't possibly do justice to every story in this collection. If you want to read a rich and satisfying offering of speculative fiction from authors of colour gathered and edited by an absolute legend of SFF, then please look no further than New Suns.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leticia

    This was a very original and interesting anthology and I'm happy that it won the Locus Award 2020! My favorite stories were The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Tobias Buckell, The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu, Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez, The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh, Blood and Bells Karin Lowachee and The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon and are indicated in bold text. ✔The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Tobias Buckell- very entertaining short-story-5 stars! ✔Deer This was a very original and interesting anthology and I'm happy that it won the Locus Award 2020! My favorite stories were The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Tobias Buckell, The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu, Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez, The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh, Blood and Bells Karin Lowachee and The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon and are indicated in bold text. ✔️The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex - Tobias Buckell- very entertaining short-story-5 stars! ✔️Deer Dancer by Kathleen Alcala - Very interesting world, but the short story seemed quite rushed up and in need of fleshing out to reach its full potential. ✔️The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang- Interesting, but the fact that its was mainly 'told' made it seem too long. ✔️Come Home to Atropos by Steven Barnes - (view spoiler)[A strange and satirical take on euthanasia tourism(?) (hide spoiler)] ✔️The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu- Awesome story with Djinni- 5 stars ✔️unkind mercy by Alex Jennings- intriguing, but I didn't understand the story enough. ✔️Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez - Awesome story world weaved with mythology, with a great resolution. ✔️The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh The water half human/half creature was quite well constructed in this short story, (view spoiler)[at the same time seductive and horrifying. (hide spoiler)] ✔️Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire by E. Lily Yu - The structure of this story was very different. ✔️Blood and Bells Karin Lowachee Interesting and original writing style, I wonder which dialect this would be, I would gladly read a longer story based on this world and characters. ✔️Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister by Silvia Moreno-Garcia - A cringing, leading towards horror story with the human side of scary winged monsters. ✔️The Shadow We Cast Through Time by Indrapramit Das - An interesting story and world but a bit confusing. Quite eerie tough. ✔️ The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon - I think this was a very intriguing story with a lot of undercurrents. I think this was one of the stories I mostly thought about afterwards. ✔️Dumb House by Andrea Hairston - This felt like a spin-off piece of another story. ✔️One Easy Trick, Hiromi Goto - A funny story about a woman and her, at the same time loved and hated, bellyfat. ✔️Harvest by Rebecca Roanhorse - An interesting story with characters that I would gladly read more about. ✔️Kelsey and the Burdened Breath, Darcie Little Badger - I considered the story world here quite interesting even if I missed a bit more context to understand it fully. I would like to thank NetGalley and Rebellion Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Davies

    As soon as I read the blurb for this anthology, I knew that I wanted to read it. It ticks all the boxes when I look for an anthology, horror, sci-fi and fantasy. With any anthology I go in with an open mind, I know I wont love every story but I can guarantee I can find some new authors who I will go onto purchase their work. New Sun has 17 short stories that will introduce you to various cultures and religions, creatures from other realms and so much more. Each story was completely different and As soon as I read the blurb for this anthology, I knew that I wanted to read it. It ticks all the boxes when I look for an anthology, horror, sci-fi and fantasy. With any anthology I go in with an open mind, I know I won’t love every story but I can guarantee I can find some new authors who I will go onto purchase their work. New Sun has 17 short stories that will introduce you to various cultures and religions, creatures from other realms and so much more. Each story was completely different and you will change genre from one story to the next. For the purpose of this review, I will write about the ones I really enjoyed. The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu: The story about how one man wants to change the rules to protect his son. As you read this story, you learn how much Nuhu’s community rely on the Djinn for survival. The idea of the perfect woman (Spells) being got from a catalogue enforced the town’s need. The descriptive style of the author enabled you to imagine the spells, the views of the men and the desperation and determination of Nuhu to break the contract. Unkind of Mercy by Alex Jennings: Alaina-Rose talks about Johnny the love of her life and the strange feeling that something is in the room with her. I love reading stories that gets your imagination working. The story written from Alaina-Rose’s POV, helps you see how these mysterious creatures are starting to affect her and lets you decide whether it is supernatural or extraterrestrial. The Freedom of the Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh: Mayang an unusual sea creature and the affects she has on a mother and daughter. I really enjoyed this story. Yes, Mayang was a sea creature, but it was a story about love and loss. This story was beautifully written. You are drawn into their lives and as this story is told over a long period of time, you see how Mayang changed the lives of Salmah and Eunice. One Easy Trick by Hiromi Goto: Marnie has a bit of a belly but after a trip into the forest to collect mushrooms, it all changes. As I was reading this story, I did not know what had happened to Marnie and rereading it, I still do not know what she did. However, that did not stop me enjoying this story, my favourite scenes were when she went back into the forest and her conversation with a bear. Reading this reminded me of the Adipose from Dr Who. Kelsey and the Burdened Breath by Darcie Little Badger: This was my favourite story. Kelsey and Pal, her spirit dog earn a living rounding up lost souls. Written in the 3rd person, makes you feel that you are following her step by step. Tracking down the burdened breath tested her skills. This is a paranormal thriller and I would love to read more of Kelsey and if there were a series I would definitely buy it. I am glad I got to read this anthology and as expected I have now added more authors to my list to look out for. If you are looking for refreshing stories than pick up this book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chrysten Lofton

    4.0⭐ This couldnt be happening. Not to him. Not in his broken down old cab hed been just keeping going and with a re-up on the Manhattan license due soon. **spoilers** If youre following my reviews, thanks for rolling with me ♡ Were on season four of Stitchers LeVar Burton Reads, and were gifted with "The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S. Buckell This was way too much fun. I constantly find myself thinking about how miracles become monotonous. How creatives draw up grandiose 4.0⭐ “This couldn’t be happening. Not to him. Not in his broken down old cab he’d been just keeping going and with a re-up on the Manhattan license due soon.” **spoilers** If you’re following my reviews, thanks for rolling with me ♡ We’re on season four of Stitcher’s LeVar Burton Reads, and we’re gifted with "The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex” by Tobias S. Buckell This was way too much fun. I constantly find myself thinking about how miracles become monotonous. How creatives draw up grandiose alien universes as seen in James Cameron’s Avatar, and as viewers, we’re enchanted—but if it was ours, and familiar, we’d be uninspired. We already have such an absurd sky, blue with white puffs, oceans, rain, we can blow on a dandelion and send its seeds flying through the air, we have plants that eat meat, and mushrooms that glow. But we’ve generally traded all that for pavement, and we’re rarely enchanted these days. Buckell shows the world post-contact, and it’s a rundown tourist trap. All the miracles made mundane. He and other scifi writers know the world very well. This is so painfully honest. As LeVar points out, this is just a guy trying to get through his day. Anyone else get actual anxiety listening to this? Like, this is way too close to my day-to-day. Dude, I cannot afford a misstep right now, do not lay this shit on me x-D I super love the roller coaster of like....MAJOR ACCIDENT—GOVT COVER-UP—INVESTIGATION—LOL BRO WE OUT HERE TRYIN TO DIE, ITS LIT. I was honestly laughing, this ending was kind of set up for dread and it ended up being hilarious and oh so late-capitalism typical. There's a little Douglas Adams flavor in here, great work. And like, even on the funny note, it’s still pretty dreadful. But my man Tavi got through another day. LeVar 10/10 on that alien voice. That had me dying too. I realize this is hella late, vacation prep/trip/recovery to see my brother graduate held me up. But I’m back and I’m planning a fast catch-up. Thanks for reading, and If you wanna chat about the latest LBR episodes, hit me up in the comments and come meet with us at LeVar Burton Reads: The Community on Facebook. - 📚☕♥

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