NEW SUNS

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

[My review will be available on my blog at the link provided on 19 May. It has already been cross-posted to Goodreads and LibraryThing.]


New Suns edited by Nisi Shawl is, like it says on the cover, an anthology of original speculative fiction by people of colour. Aside from that commonality, there is quite a diverse group of stories contained within. On the one hand, this means there should be a story for every type of speculative fiction reader, but perhaps that not every story will work for every reader.

Anthology of contemporary stories by emerging and seasoned writers of many races

There’s nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns,” proclaimed Octavia E Butler.

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 clichés, ready to dazzle you with their daring genius.

Unexpected brilliance shines forth from every page.

I found this anthology to be quite the mixed bag. There were some cute stories, some dark stories, some stories dealing with very interesting ideas, some that I didn't feel I "got" but that I'm sure will be meaningful for other readers. As such, I'm finding it hard to have an opinion on the anthology as a whole. As usual, I recorded my thoughts on each story as I read it — and you can find these below — but an overall impression is difficult. I also ended up reading New Suns over a long period of time, which doesn't help.

A few of the stories which stand out for me are:
"The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations" by Minsoo Kang, which was based on a delightful premise. It wasn't the easiest read, but absolutely worth putting the effort in for.
"The Freedom of the Shifting Sea" by Jaymee Goh was a meatier read than some of the others and featured a memorable cross-species romance.
"One Easy Trick" by Hiromi Goto was cute and entertaining.
The above is not an exhaustive list, so I do encourage you to read the mini-reviews below if you haven't already.

Overall, New Suns is an anthology filled with diverse perspectives and written by diverse authors. If you are looking to branch out a bit in your short story reading and try some new authors, this would be a good place to start. 

~

The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex, Tobias Buckell — What if a lot of different aliens all decided that Earth was a perfect tourist destination? Find out how mere humans live on the edges of a society that mainly relies on tourist income to Manhattan. Interesting parallels as well as interesting aliens.

Deer Dancer, Kathleen Alcalá — A story about a collective living arrangement in some sort of post-apocalyptic future (climate change I think). It was mostly slice-of-life, interesting but lost me a bit towards the end.

The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations, Minsoo Kang — I originally started reading this story on the second of two long-haul flights and it transpired that I was far too tired to take the story in. When I restarted it later, better rested, I realised I had had no idea what it was about from the first attempt. It doesn’t help that it’s written in a very dry style, in the manner of a non-fictional historical essay, and that the story itself emerges gradually. Once established, it was a very interesting and amusing read, if not exactly an exciting one.

Come Home to Atropos, Steven Barnes — Told in the form of a horrifyingly unsubtle infomercial, this story is about assisted dying and euthanasia tourism. The overtones of historic and modern slavery seemed a bit gauche for an infomercial but certainly added to the plausibility of the story overall. (Also, the story was more a a take on racism than an interrogation of the concept of assisted dying.)

The Fine Print, Chinelo Onwualu — The premise of the story was a bit unpleasant (from a feminist point of view) and I didn’t feel the story itself really made up for that, despite acknowledging it. The writing was fine but I didn’t really enjoy the plot.

unkind of mercy, Alex Jennings — A slightly creepy story. It reminded me of the episode of Doctor Who with the ghost angels that was part of the Tenth Doctor’s last season finale. With a very different ending, of course.

Burn the Ships, Alberto Yáñez — A story of conquerors from the east colonising an empire in southern America. There is oppression and slaughter and vengeful magic. I think the setting is an alternate world rather than a precisely real historic setting. It was a longer story and featured culture that I have not come across too frequently in stories.

The Freedom of the Shifting Sea, Jaymee Goh — One of my favourite stories in the collection. A multigenerational epic featuring a mermaid/mermillipede (any description from me isn’t going to do her justice, I suggest just reading the story). I liked the twist on the traditional mermaid idea and the way the story spanned many years, in bursts.

Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire, E. Lily Yu — As the title says, variations on the story of the Emperor’s new clothes. It adds to the obvious take and was written in a very readable voice.

Blood and Bells, Karin Lowachee — This story was a slog to get into and I ended up setting it aside for quite a while. When I came back to it and read further it was more interesting (to see the actual plot develop). Gang warfare and a father trying to protect his kid in the middle of a murder investigation.

Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister, Silvia Moreno-Garcia — An enticing story about a witch living in a city and attempting to lead a normal life. I enjoyed the time and writing style especially.

The Shadow We Cast Through Time, Indrapramit Das — A dark and fantastical take of a far future but lowish-tech colony on some alien planet. The story evoked a compelling mood, but I found it a bit too slow to draw me in effectively, for all that it was interesting during sufficiently long bursts of reading.

The Robots of Eden, Anil Menon — A dystopian/utopian future in which most affluent people have implants that regulate their emotions and protect them from life’s emotional struggles. I was quite intrigued by the story of a banker dealing exceptionally well with divorce and even befriending his ex wife’s new husband, with the dark realities of the world lurking beneath the surface.

Dumb House, Andrea Hairston — A bit of a slice of life story set in a dystopian rural US. A woman living in a “dumb house” fends off salesmen trying to upgrade her to a smart house. The character development was interesting but I felt that a bit more of the worldbuilding details could have been included; some aspects were clear, some foggy.

One Easy Trick, Hiromi Goto — A cute story about a woman, her belly fat, and a forest. I quite enjoyed it and found it a bit unexpected, in a good way.

Harvest, Rebecca Roanhorse — A kind of creepy story. I found aspects of the ending a little too ambiguous but, nevertheless, it was well written.

Kelsey and the Burdened Breath, Darcie Little Badger — A bit of a mystery but mostly a ghost story. I enjoyed the mythology of it and wouldn’t have minded a longer/meatier story.


3.5 / 5 stars

First published: March 2019, Rebellion Publishing
Series: No
Format read: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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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.
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I really enjoyed getting stuck into this book, and found myself frequently surprised by just how much I loved the Characters in the stories. 

This was the first time I read an anthology of short stories, and I must admit I was a bit nervous. Short stories can often feel rushed or unfinished, but I found that I enjoyed reading about each person, and I loved the very different approaches and considerations of each Author.

There were obviously some I loved more than others, some that appealed to me that bit more, as I figure will be true of any who read the book. Each story is down to that readers individual tastes, so there will always be some that shine brighter to different people. But what I found very surprising, was that although I liked some more than others, I enjoyed every story for a different reason.

Some it was for the theme behind the story, sometimes I loved a Character, and sometimes it was the flow of the story, but every single one held my interest easily, and has prompted me to go an try to find other works from the author.

I think that the best way to read something like this, is to take each story on it’s individual merits, as opposed to reading the book as a whole. It seems unfair to the Authors to expect all the stories to flow in the same way, as each Author is as different in style and approach as the reader themselves.

The different worlds, futures, places and situations were wonderful, each was gorgeously described. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that I was transporter to so many different places, and each was the perfect length  to read on a break. 

If you enjoy Fantasy and Sci Fi then you really should pick these up, short snappy stories that are each unique, some very memorable Characters and surprising turns! This book has a little bit of everything.
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There is nothing new under the sun, but there are new suns.

New Suns is an anthology of short stories, each written by an author of colour. There is a variety of stories, sci-fi, fantasy or a mix of the two, often based in legend or myth. I liked the diversity in the collection, and I was glad to see a couple of authors whose work I've enjoyed before.

My favourites were:

Jaymee Goh: The Freedom of the Shifting Sea
E. Lily Yu: Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire
Karin Lowachee: Blood and Bells
Rebecca Roanhorse: Harvest
Darcie Little Badger: Kelsey and the Burdened Breath
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*I received this ARC for review from Netgalley*

I feel like this book is filled with stories that should have been expanded into there own novels. Because of that, everything felt incomplete. Every story left me wanting more. I did enjoy what I read, I just felt like something was missing.
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I gave the anthology a 4/5 stars or 8/10. Some stories I loved and others I felt were lacking, that's the beauty of anthologies though, you get the best of all worlds so to speak. 

The mixture of genres of the stories is vast and include dystopian, horror, science fiction, fantasy and some were definitely not for the faint hearted. Something to suit every readers taste.

I'd never read any other work by any of the Authors before and due to the varied genres, this Anthology was definitely one that I knew I would get on with as many of the genres are ones that I particularly enjoy reading. As they are short stories, this is a book that you can pick up and put down in between other reads, as the stories are the perfect length to allow you to do this. Reading each story one by one, in it's entirety. 

If you like reading short story anthologies that will make you gasp and wonder at the twisted minds of the Authors writing them, then grab a copy.
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This is a beautiful collection of stories! A few grabbed my attention more than others yet every story was enjoyable. The following six stories have stayed with me in the days since reading the Nisi Shawl's afterward. (Alpha by author)
1. The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias Buckell was a wonderful spin on a future NY Tourism.
2. The Freedom of the Shift Sea by Jaymee Goh of tells of monsters and love, transformation and consistency. It's not your expected mermaid story!
3. One Easy Trick by Hiromi Goto had me laughing in public and getting strangle looks. Even now I'm still giggling over the imagery in my head.
4. Dumb House by Andrea Hairston also had me giggling and thinking about the role of technology. I wish there was more to this story, it was the one that felt too short and not fully told.  
5. Harvest by Rebecca Roanhorse was haunting and beautiful. As with other stories in the collection it made me pause and think. 
6. Burn the Ships by Alberto Yáñez the dark magic against the colonizers made me stop and pause on the strength of sacrifice in light of oppression and resistance.

While not every story grabbed me, this is a wonderful collection! I have found several new-to-me authors who I hope to find more of!
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While some of the stories in this collection were amazing, many others were a let-down or a jumbled mess. I love the idea of this anthology. I just don't believe that it was executed well.
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I think anthologies are really difficult to critique as which stories you prefer are such a matter for personal taste. Some of the collection's 17 stories were excellent and others were really not my bag. My favourites were, in the order they appeared in the collection:

The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias Bucknell

The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang

The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu

Burn The Ships by Alberto Yanez

The Freedom Of The Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh

The Shadow We Cast Through Time by Indrapramit Das

The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon

One Easy Trick by Hiromi Goto
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3/28/2019 New Suns:  Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color
Edited by Nisi Shawl


I’m late getting to this one, not because I didn’t want to read it, but because I really wanted to take the time and absorb each and every story and every story in this collection is incredible.  
Friends, Rebecca Roanhorse has a story in this collection.  I mean, that’s all I need to say.  
Covering a range of topics, settings, and time periods, there is a short story for everyone in this collection.  What do you do when Earth becomes an intergalactic tourist destination?  Have you ever considered a Djinn complaint department?  
I especially loved the short story The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon.  The story opens with a husband reflecting on his wife and her lover, Sollozzo, arriving from Boston so that together, they can inform their young daughter of their divorce.  It’s handled so matter of factly and without any anger or resentment that it’s a bit confusing.  Why isn’t he upset?  He claims that he and Sollozzo both love the same woman.  Shouldn’t he be sad?  It’s only later that we learn that many in the world are now Enhanced.  They are connected to AI through implants that levels off-maybe even takes away-all of their aggressive and negative emotions.  After the divorce, the husband and Sollozzo become friends, speaking frequently and enjoying philosophical and literary debates.  The divide between the Enhanced and Unenhanced takes a chilling turn when tragedy hits the family and the only upset is Velli, an Unenhanced woman who works for the family.  This story was a powerful look at how even the most devastating of emotions are important to the human journey and no matter how badly we want to turn them off, we shouldn’t.  
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories and I would highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in trying out short stories-they’re a new love of mine.  
 
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this title.  All opinions are my own.
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New Suns is a collection of 17 speculative fiction stories by authors of colour and whilst they didn’t all hit the spot for me there is definitely a lot to enjoy about this anthology and what didn’t work for me might be gold to another reader. I have been enjoying a break from thrillers and embracing my old reading loves of science fiction/horror and dystopian fiction recently so New Suns came along just at the right time. Any anthology is going to be like a pick & mix and the following were my absolute favourites:

Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias S Buckell – this really reminded me of Men In Black with the humour element. Earth has become the home of intergalactic tourism but one small misunderstanding (or an alien off their face on recreational drugs) could result in  our annihilation.

The Fire Print by Chinelo Onwualu – A story about desire, paternal love and dodgy dealings with a Djinn!

The Freedom of The Shifting Sea by Jaymee Goh – a nautical tale featuring a sensuous sea worm (not a sentence I ever imagined saying!). This was more of an erotic horror story but I enjoyed the underlying love story. Just skip over the terrifying mandibles; she’s not known as The Bobbit Worm for nothing!

Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire – a new spin (pardon the pun) on The Emperor’s New Clothes which I really enjoyed.

One Easy Trick by Hiromi Goto – easily the weirdest story featuring a woman who loses her belly fat in the woods. Literally loses it, so cute! I wish mine would go for a hike in the woods.

Kelsey and the Burdened Breath by Darcie Little Badger – My absolute favourite; it’s about a kind of ghost sheep dog who rounds up lost/rogue  souls. I could read a whole series about the characters in this short story.

These were the stories that struck a chord with me, made me think or made me laugh, I did enjoy others but these are the standouts in my opinion. I will definitely check out the authors and their other works.
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New Suns is an excellent collection of short fiction, collected from a bevy of talented science fiction and fantasy authors. Many of these authors were new to me and I look forward to diving further into their collective works.

The stories feel completely original, creating unexpected twists on old tales and weaving new stories that range from hilarious to thought-provoking. You’ll find a future Earth turned massive tourist attraction for thrill-seeking aliens. You’ll find a jinn turned businessman through the modernization of wish granting. You’ll find a brilliant retelling of an old fable, complete with witty dialog from the author on the state of such a tale. It’s a wonderful collection, organized in a way that continuously surprised me as I read through the stories. 

A couple of my favorites…

The Fine Print (by Chinelo Onwualu) is a modern adaptation of a jinn story, shifting the narrative from a legend format to a modern business complete with paper contracts, customer service, and a catalog of available wishes. The narrative shows the wishing system for what it really is, revealing the endless wants of man that often outweigh what they actually need. It’s fascinating to imagine a wish system of checks and balances where you get everything you ever wanted in life, at a cost. 

The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex (by Tobias S. Buckell) shows us a future where Earth is overrun by alien tourists looking for a thrilling vacation on a “primitive” world. The cities are nothing but tourist stores, sightseeing, and restaurants catering to the needs of thousands of alien species. We’re introduced to a number of alien races, all of them eager to experience the thrills of human life. The story paints a pretty hilarious picture of the cosmos, namely as a bunch of bored aliens looking for something different from their highly advanced civilizations and daily lives. 

Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire (by E. Lily Yu) is a brilliantly witty take on the classic ’emperor with no clothes’ story. The author becomes a part of the story, contemplating the telling of a fable and what makes a good story great. I loved the sense of voice in the narrative.
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Anthologies are great, sometimes they work out well and sometimes they don’t quite reach that potential we see in them. With many of them, I have found, it’s almost always a mixed bag and this one is no different.

New Suns is filled with fiction from people of colour and this diversity made way for some truly good content, if I am being honest but I wish there was a loose theme to them all, a sort of connection that I felt lacking while I was reading them one after the other.

Overall, I gave this collection 3.5 stars but there were some that truly were noteworthy and I feel like they really made the experience so much better than it could have been. Of the entire collection, I really found Come Home to Atropos by Steven Barnes along with The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwaulu were so well written and they had such a good effect on me, I am not likely to forget them any time soon. Then there were other good ones, such as Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and The Freedom of the Shifting Seas by Jaymee Goh and last but not the least, Harvest by Rebecca Roanhorse. These were so good and well written and two of them were just creepy enough that I felt uneasy reading them.

Overall, this is a really mixed bag with a few gems scattered in between. I have given the starred rating for each one in below, however, do consider that this is my personal opinion and it might differ from many others. If you read this collection and found some of the low rated ones to be your favourite, please, don’t be offended.

The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex by Tobias Buckell- ★★★

Deer Dancer by Kathleen Alcala – ★★

The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations by Minsoo Kang – ★ (DNF)

Come Home to Atropos by Steven Barnes – ★★★★

The Fine Print by Chinelo Onwualu- ★★★★

unkind of mercy by Alex Jennings – ★★

Burn the Ships by Alberto Yanez – ★★

The Freedom of the Shifting Seas by Jaymee Goh – ★★★

Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire by E. Lily Yu- ★

Blood and Bells by Karin Lowakee- ★

Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister by Silvia Moreno-Garcia  – ★★★

The Shadow We Cast Through Time by Indrapramit Das – ★★

The Robots of Eden by Anil Menon – ★★

Dumb House by Andrea Hairston- DNF

One Easy Trick  by Hiromi Goto – ★

Harvest by Rebecca Roanhorse – ★★★

Kelsey and the burdened breath by Darcie Little Badger- ★★
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I was excited about the anthology New Suns, but I ended up disappointed. This anthology has so many great authors. Unfortunately, the stories never reached the level of “great.” It’s a risk you run with every anthology since not even wonderful authors hit it out of the ballpark every single time.

My favorite stories of the collection were by two authors whose work I usually enjoy — Rebecca Roanhorse and Darcie Little Badger. Rebecca Roanhorse’s story, “Harvest,” was delightfully creepy and macabre. A young woman falls in love with a deerwoman… who convinces her to kill for her. Darcie Little Badger’s story, “Kelsey and the Burdened Breath,” is about grief and moving on. In the world of Badger’s story, last breaths contain a shred of the dead’s soul, and they often linger on Earth. It’s a fantastic concept that Badger uses brilliantly.

One other story I enjoyed was “The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations” by Minsoo Kang, which examines history, histography, and how we often value war more than peace. It’s a very smart story, and I’ll have to keep an eye out for more by Minsoo Kang.

Outside of those three stories, I wasn’t much impressed with the rest of the collection. In the second tier, I’d place “The Shadow We Cast Through Time” by Indrapramit Das, although I can’t remember much about it other than that it was sort of middle-of-the-road. I did like “The Freedom of the Shifting Sea” by Jaymee Goh, which features queer, murderous mermaids, but I don’t think I would ever revisit it. “The Robots of Eden” by Anil Menon has an interesting take on post-humans but isn’t very memorable. “One Easy Trick” by Hiromi Goto was at least memorable, although it’s another I wasn’t wild about. It’s sort of an issue story about a woman coming to terms with and accepting her belly fat.

“The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex” by Tobias Buckell had an amusing concept but not a whole lot of staying power, unlike some of his other stories I’ve read. The same goes for E. Lily Yu’s “Three Variations on Theme of Imperial Attire.” E. Lily Yu has written some truly brilliant stories that I remember months or years after first reading them. However, this one was a rather unremarkable retelling of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

I actually ended up only reading part of three different stories… two of which were by authors whose work I’ve otherwise enjoyed. Karin Lowachee’s Warchild is one of my all-time favorite novels, but I pretty quickly DNF’ed her story “Blood and Bells.” I’ve found that her stories in general either strike me to the core or completely bounce off me. “Blood and Bells” was a bounce. Likewise, I’ve enjoyed a novel by Andrea Hairston, but I DNF’ed her short story “Dumb House.” I quit “unkind mercy” by Alex Jennings pretty close to the end, as I found it overly rambling.

While I finished reading the other stories in this collection, there aren’t any I would recommend or really want to talk about. I’d recommend passing on this collection — most of these authors have better work available elsewhere.

I received an ARC with the expectation of a free and honest review.
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When the ‘New Suns’ anthology was announced a few months ago many things attracted my attention.
First of all, the cover. The illustration draw by Yoshi Yoshitani is a success: striking and so much in the line of the reasons behind this publication. On the other hand, the writer’s list. An absolute heterogeneous list of names, with a wider range of cultures: Indians, African-American, Native Americans but with very distinct foreign backgrounds, etc. And, mostly, a wider selection of Asian culture that makes the anthology a very interesting sample of what is going on out of the literature we usually read.
The name’s list interest grows if you are curious about other origins and cultures. Fortunately, nowadays we are having more and more literature coming from out of the USA and Europe. Although there are a few names we all know, they are just knocking a door through which many other writers will go in the next decade. In addition, ‘New Suns’ anthology cover text does not highlight the most known names within the book – at least, those I personally know more, as Tobias S. Buckell or Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This might be something not wanted, but looks like a very interesting action in order to promote less known authors.
It is a bit of a cliché to say that anthologies are usually some kind of emotional roller coasters. You can read a fantastic tale, with an amazing sense of wonder which engages with you from the very beginning. However, the next one can be completely different, and not being attractive for the reader at all. I have to recognize that ‘New Suns’ is one of the anthologies where I most have had this feeling. But, although the average mark could be not very high, the truth is that there is a handful of stories that a mention is well deserved.
One of this is ´The Fine Print´, by Chinelo Onwualu. An amazing tale of parent’s love to their children, human desires. A remarkable Faust’s tale revision.
 ‘Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex’ by Tobias S. Buckell is another remarkable science fiction tale. The Earth is now a visit destination for galactic tourists. The difference is that this story is probably the funniest story of the whole anthology. Related to tourism there is also ‘Come Home to Atropos’ by Steven Barnes which is also a good an interesting one. 
I also want to mention ‘The Shadow We Cast through Time’, written by Indrapramit Das. This story summarize most of my feelings when reading ‘New Suns’. On one hand, a tale full of details, a complex one to be read bit by bit. On the other, a narrative I didn’t connect at all with. 
A safe bet was Silvia Moreno-García and her ‘Give Me Your Black Wings Oh Sister’. She does not disappoint, writing a highly emotional tale which is closed with success. Similar can be said about ‘Harvest’, by Rebecca Roanhorse. A quick love story which includes one of the recurring themes in the anthology, colonialism. 
In addition to 17 tales, the book also includes an introduction by Levar Burton and a foreword by the editor Nisi Shawl. I can’t deny there are some tales I didn’t like – as it happens with most of anthologies. However, ‘New Suns’ allows us to read other concerns about the past, present and future world from those we usually get in other books. Definitively, this journey along different cultures, different ways of writing and understanding the genre is a well worthy experience.
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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

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

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

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

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 compilation of emotional, wondrous, and thought provoking tales. 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. Thank you so much to the editor of this collection for bringing such amazing authors into my world.
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News Suns is a book of collected short speculative fiction stories by people of colour. It's quite an open description and so the stories here are varied in style, linking them is that they all have elements of something unusual, something not quite of this world.  

Normally I find short story collections difficult to read because I find myself stopping after every story but with this one I just couldn't stop reading. The stories are all a bit odd, a bit different and full of atmosphere. I very much enjoyed this collection and I was sad to get to the end.

My favourites included Harvest - a dark and disturbing tale of a woman who would do anything for her lover, The Freedom of the Shifting Sea, an only slight less disturbing tale of a woman that falls in love with a mermaid / sea worm and Deer Dancer, a story that I didn't understand at all but thought was beautifully done even though it went over my head.  

The only one I wasn't keen on was The Virtue of Unfaithful Translations because it was more historical explanation than a story. I liked the way it tried something new but I didn't feel connected to the story at all, it was too far removed. 

The other stories were:

Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex, about a taxi driver who finds himself in trouble after a passenger jumps out of his cab.

Come Home to Atropos - a very cleverly done story about an advertising campaign to entice rich white people to come to Atropos for euthanasia that feels far too realistic to be comfortable reading.

The Fine Print - about men that exchange their women and children to pay for perfect wives from catalogues.

Unkind of Mercy - a woman that can see invisible beings that inhabit our world. 

Burn the Ships - a race of people that are about to be wiped out by alien invaders find a way to fight back. 

Three Variations on a Theme of Imperial Attire - an Emporer's New Clothes retelling.

Blood and Bells - another of my favourites, this is about a young man trying to protect his child and escape the gang world that he lives in. 

Give me your Black Wings Oh Sister - I liked this one a lot too, it's about a young woman that starts to feel strange, uncontrollable urges. 

The Shadow we Cast through Time - a story about a world that lives in close contact with demons. 

The Robots of Eden - people that have 'enhanced' themselves but lost the ability to feel emotions. 

Dumb House - a woman that refuses to upgrade to the latest smart houses. 

One Easy Trick - about a woman who literally loses her belly fat while walking in the forest.

Kelsey and the Burdened Breath - a world where when people die their souls leave their bodies with their last breath.

A varied and interesting short story collection, I recommend this if you're looking for something fresh and a bit different.
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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.
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First, I'd like to say, I was so happy to read stories with characters of color in it! It is always a gift reading books with characters who look like me.

That being said, the seventeen stories had such a wide range of genres and I am happy to say that most of them really caught my attention.

Every piece was well written, I will say even though they all weren't my cup of tea. Anthologies can be very tricky but I feel like this was done pretty well.
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*I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the free book!*

I was already excited for this book when I saw that it was "Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color", one of them being Rebecca Roanhorse, whose urban fantasy novel "Trail of Lightning" I had used in one of my classes. When I saw that the foreword was written by LeVar Burton, this trekkie was very happy. 

However, I did not like or get all the stories that can be found in this book. Some were confusing, others boring, yet some were extremely well crafted and mind-blowing. Speculative Fiction is not always to my liking, so I just skim-read the stories I didn't enjoy. As they made up more than half of the book, I am sad to rate this book with less than five stars, but I had great expectations after LeVar showed up ;-)

Neverthemore, I enjoyed this very diverse anthology! If you are into speculative fiction and would like to read about taxis for aliens for instance, buy and read this compilation. You will find stories to your liking! 

4 Stars!
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