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Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An LGBT and two-spirit sci-fi anthology Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The only author in the anthology I’d heard of before was Daniel Heath Justice, although this was my first chance to read his work. As I’d hoped, I enjoyed several short stories in this collection and will seek out more of those author’s work.
The collection had several introductions which took up a hefty chunk of the page count. In retrospect, I wish I’d skipped them and headed straight for the stories instead. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the first story, “Aliens” by Richard van Camp. The experimentation with POV didn’t work for me, and I don’t know how well it fit in with the theme of the collection. It also has some iffy treatment of intersex people as plot points.
“Legends are Made, Not Born” by Cherie Dimaline was an improvement over the first story, but I still felt like it was missing something. I think the core idea was interesting, but the story could have used more development. Perhaps expanding it some?
Daniel Heath Justice’s story, “The Boys Who Became the Hummingbirds,” was all right but not really what I was looking for – it was very much in the style of a myth. The writing however was lovely, and I still plan to read more by Justice.
My favorite story of the collection was “Né łe” by Darci Little Badger. This story was adorable! A vet travels to a new life on Mars, but she’s woken up partway through the journey to take care of some dogs whose sleep pods have malfunctioned. Basically, this story has a f/f romance and dogs in space. It’s no wonder I loved it so much.
My second favorite of the collection was probably “Impostor Syndrome” by Mari Kurisato, which tells the tale of a cyborg who wishes to be human. The story was excellently constructed and managed to combine classic tropes with a modern feel.
Other stories in the collection include “Transitions” by Gwen Benaway, “Perfectly You” by David A. Robertson, “Valediction at the Star View Motel” by Nathan Adler, and a poem, “Parallax” by Cleo Keahna. These stories were all perfectly decent but didn’t stand out much to me one way or the other.
While I think the beginning of the collection was weak, I’m glad that I ultimately stuck with Love Beyond Body, Space and Time.
We have some great openings from Hope Nicholson, Grace L. Dillon, and Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair before we get into the heart of the book. So many powerful stories are told in so few pages in Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time. As the title suggests, love is the main theme in this collection. Romantic love, familial love, self-love. Hope is a prevalent driving force. There are a few sad, quiet moments and some explosive flares, but the stories themselves are uplifting. I'm sure I missed a lot of layers to these stories as a white, non-Native person, but I adored each and every piece here.
- "Aliens" is a voice-y dream, a great start to the anthology.
- "Legends Are Made, Not Born" brings us the memorable Auntie Dave.
- My heart wibbled so much during "Perfectly You", aching for Emma and Cassie to find each other.
- The writing in "The Boy Who Became Hummingbirds" is absolutely gorgeous.
- "Né łe" might be my favorite in the bunch - slowburn romance + so many dogs + space!!
- "Transitions" was very moving, so deep.
- The most action-y story here would be "Imposter Syndrome", and it is quite a rollercoaster ride.
- "Valedictorian at The Star View Motel" has the most shippable couple, aghhh, Edie and Mushkeg!!!
- We end the collection with an incredible poem "Parallax" by Cleo Keahna.
These characters and their aches and dreams are forever seared into my soul.
***e-ARC provided by NetGalley***
"Stories, when they're told, have an enormous opportunity to connect people, to bind hearts and minds and stories, to make one feel like they're not alone. I strongly believe in this."
As an anthology, I believe every reader will find something to connect with. As I believe firmly in letting the authors words speak for themselves, let me quote my favorites, the heartwarming “Né łe!" by Darcie Little Badger (dogs and wlw and new hope in space!):
"Could I manage the first animal clinic on Mars? Support a burgeoning pet population? First dogs and then cats and then potbellied pigs! Goats, bison, passenger pigeons: dense flocks migrating through engineered skies. I'd build a paradise, one better than the home I lost as a child,"
And the transcendent "The Boys Who Became the Hummingbirds" by Daniel Heath Justice:
"So they darted to those whose hearts beat strongest, streaks of blinding bright grace, calling to them in soft voices, sharing stories of possibility beyond the grim dust of what was to be a hopeful possibility of what could be. And some of their kindred responded to the long-awaited call, body changing to echo spirit, becoming more themselves than they had darted imagine, rising up and out of shame to join the Hummingbird Boys...."
If you love speculative fiction, absolutely add to your collection.
[I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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