This is my first post for my “FanArt Reviews” series. It was due a week ago, when the book launched. So, this is a little rushed, but here goes.
“STORIES OF SURVIVAL is a charity anthology inspired by and dedicated to the memory of Aiki Flinthart, with all proceeds going to the Melanoma Institute of Australia. Cancer has touched the lives of many, and the Australian Speculative Fiction community has banded together to try and make a difference.”
I had never met Aiki. I barely knew her. So, it is astonishing how I still feel her loss in Australia’s spec fic community. I’ve heard only good things. I miss her, and I didn’t even know her. She wrote many things, one of which was a craft book on writing fight scenes, called “Fight Like a Girl” which I recommend checking out too.
Since this anthology is for charity, do you really need to hear more? Go buy the book. Now.
Okay okay, fine, I’ll review it.
I don’t know about you, dear reader, and how you’ve been coping with the pandemic, but it has been a rough couple of years. Unfortunately, that means that this anthology was much darker than I was prepared for. It started as a difficult read, but fortunately it is an anthology, so the stories were all bite sized, and I could chip away at them over coffee or before bed, which was great. The stories also got lighter in the latter half.
So what are the stories, you ask? All different kinds! There’s distant- and near- future sci-fi, varied fantasy, and even some contemporary spec fic stories. There’s really dark deathly stories, and heart-warming baking. There’s couriers and criminals, dragons and whales, astrology, and, you guessed it, koi fish.
All the stories fundamentally deal with survival, whether it’s the immediate, the long-term, the close and personal, or the communities we are all intrinsically tied to. The darkness of the stories highlights humanity’s inner light, the fire of the living spirit, and wow it was a lot.
Please check out Stories of Survival. The writing was all excellent, the ideas were great, and this was another tremendous story collection from Deadset Press.