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Even Greater Mistakes

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Member Reviews

All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/.

TL;DR REVIEW:

Even Greater Mistakes is a wide-reaching collection of stories that will have something for everyone. Anders is just so good at cutting to the heart of our humanity with bravery and compassion.

For you if: You like short stories with speculative elements.

FULL REVIEW:

Thank you, Tor, for providing me with an electronic advanced copy of this book! I am a big fan of Charlie Jane Anders, as a person and as a writer, and I jumped at the chance to read her first official story collection.

As you might expect from a prolific SFF writer who hasn’t published a story collection before (what?), this book is absolutely packed — truly, there’s something for everyone here. Perhaps my favorite was “Six Months, Three Days,” in which a girl who sees many futures and a boy who sees one future fall in love, despite knowing it won’t end well. It raised so many questions about free will. There are also follow-up stories to Anders’ novels The City in the Middle of the Night and All the Birds in the Sky (which is one I especially loved). She also gives introductions and background on each story, which added an extra touch I really appreciated.

Anders cuts to the heart and humanity with clear-eyed compassion. These stories are not always comfortable (see trigger warnings), but the discomfort is always purposeful. She explores themes of transness and queerness, choice and identity, love and friendship, and so much more. I didn’t love every single story in this book, but I loved many and liked the rest.

If you’re a fan of speculative fiction, pick this one up!



CONTENT AND TRIGGER WARNINGS:
Transphobia and violence against trans people; Dementia (having a loved one suffer from it); Depression (acute metaphorical description of suffering from it); Addiction/alcoholism (recovering from it); PTSD
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I've read most of Charlie Jane Anders's published novels but this was my first time reading her shorter work. I enjoyed the characters and settings, and the range of different ideas and focuses in the different stories. The introductory material at the beginning of the stories is interesting. Like all of Anders' work, even the darker themes are approached with a light touch and the stories end up being uplifting even when not everything works out. This was a fun and enjoyable read.
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I'm not a big fan of short stories. These are LGBT oriented and have a viewpoint that I am mostly unfamiliar with. Some were great, my favorite was "Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue." The rest were fine. An interesting read.
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I've always been moody when I've read Charlie Jane Anders's novels, for whatever reason was going on in my life (fever, PMS, pandemic, the usual), and that's always worked for me, but the Charlie Jane online is always such a breath of fresh air...so I'm glad this collection of short stories exists to highlight all the sides of her imagination: the joyous and the weird, the dark and gloomy, the insightful and the adventurous. I almost wish I'd read this before Victories Greater Than Death, that I had seen all of her before putting Adult Novel expectations on YA. Charlie Jane Anders contains multitudes, and that's a wonderful thing for us readers.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Tor/Forge for the ARC of this in exchange for my honest review. 

This was such a well done collection of short stories, that vary greatly in type of science-fiction and fantasy. There was time travel and aliens and post apocalyptic settings, diversity of characters, all with different feelings being evoked. The ones I struggled with were based on the author’s other works, which I haven’t read yet. My favorites were the last two which kind of felt a little more hopeful than the other stories. I’m definitely planning to go back and read more of the author’s books!
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Even Greater Mistakes contains nineteen different short stories featuring all kinds of genres:  contemporary, science fiction, fantasy, dystopian, and a bit of horror. They all contain queer love, and mostly queer joy. There’s sapphics, trans people, polyamorous couples. It’s really a treat.

As Good As New:  a strange fungus has caused the world to end and only Marisol has survived.

Rat Catcher’s Yellows:  Shary has leptospirosis X (Rat Catcher’s Yellows) and her wife Grace is adapting to a life with a young wife with dementia. Soon, a kitty video game changes the odds.

If You Take My Meaning:  I skipped this one because I haven’t read City in the Middle of the Night yet, and it contains spoilers.

The Time Travel Club:  young adults get together and form a club to discuss time travel, when a professor shows up with a real time machine.

Six Months, Three Days:  both Judy and Doug can see the future. Judy can see multiple outcomes, while Doug can only see one.

Love Might Be Too Strong a Word:  Dot, a pilot, falls madly in love with Mab, a daily, who is much farther below in the cultural standing of the ship.

Fairy Werewolf vs. Vampire Zombie:  exactly what the title says. Antonia left her family due to her condition, and she starts singing at Rachel’s Bar.

Ghost Champagne:  Gloria is a comedian, and she’s being followed by her own ghost.

My Breath is a Rudder:  the first story in a dystopian San Francisco where Julie needs to paint a mural on the wall protecting them from the Pacific Ocean. 

Power Couple:  John and Willa were both studying for careers with long-term education. They decide to freeze themselves for seven years while the other gets their education. It may not go as planned.

Rock Manning Goes for Broke:  a dystopian story with people trying to fight the system.

Because Change was an Ocean and We Lived By Her Mercy:  we return to dystopian San Francisco, instead following Jaconda and Miranda.

Captain Roger in Heaven:  Marith accidentally creates a sex cult, and years later it’s grown exponentially.

Clover:  Anwar and Joe receive a strange cat named Berkley that brings them nine years of good luck, until the cat Patricia shows up. 

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nasty Things:  follows the closing of a queer bar, the Glamrock. 

A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime:  Sharon is a monster, spying on The Vastness and its cult members. 

Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue:  Rachel is taken to the Love and Dignity for Everyone center, which “fixes” people. TW for transphobia/conversion camps.

The Bookstore at the End of America:  Molly owns a rare bookstore between two countries:  one liberal and one more conservative. 

The Visitmothers:  Cait calls on the Visitmothers to help give her the body she was meant to have.

Thank you to NetGalley, Tor Books, and Charlie Jane Anders for the chance to read this advanced review copy!
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This might be the best single-author collection I've ever read. Even if there's another collection I'm forgetting, floating around somewhere in my brain, EVEN GREATER MISTAKES is certainly very high on the list. These stories are funny and poignant and incredibly human, with delightful and powerful speculative touches throughout, and each one has a laser-tight focus on its own emotional core. These stories know what they are about. The collection also exhibits extraordinary breadth. Only two of these 19 stories didn't do it for me, and I'm not even going to tell you which ones they were.

I'm hard-pressed to even pick favorites, but I particularly loved:
- As Good As New
- Rat Catcher's Yellows
- Power Couple
- Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue

I received an e-ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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What I love about short story collections is that you get smaller, more condensed, more tightly edited stories that have to get across what they have to say or whatever message they want to convey in a much smaller amount of pages than a book would, and often it seems to me that a short story can seem much more satisfying in many ways to a book when you are looking for something to make you think. (Novellas do much the same thing, sometimes.)

Charlie Jane Anders is no stranger to science fiction, no stranger to short stories, and certainly no stranger to combining both. As such, it’s unsurprising that this collection is outstanding. I’ve long admired her work, and I think the manner in which she approaches science fiction (especially when it comes to gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and sexuality) is truly the perfect combination of something omnipresent and futuristic. We’re told science fiction has led to a lot of what has become science fact, and with her musings on everything from how robots might have gender and sexual orientations once they have sentience to how MMORPGs run by people whose brains work differently could be used to possibly solve global issues speak to questions scientists have only began to touch on, which makes these stories even more interesting to read. 

There are a few stories that verge closer to horror or fantasy in here, including one laugh-out-loud funny TV vampire drama parody that had me snickering like crazy, but mostly this collection stuck to the science fiction path. 

It was a well-rounded collection, with only one story I had to skip because Anders admitted that if you hadn’t read another title of hers you wouldn’t get it (probably). As always, her skills as a writer grow, and they’ll continue to grow. I look forward to it.
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Charlie Jane Anders astounds again with Even Greater Mistakes, a collection of short stories. Anders is in her prime with this collection, spinning tales into worlds not easy to leave.
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While I haven’t read any of Charlie Jane Anders’ novels, I’d read a lot of her work on Tor, and very much enjoyed her bookstore short story that I’d read as part of a year’s best anthology. I’ve loved anthologies since I was a kid, as the yearly SFF anthologies were one of the few genre things my small childhood library could be guaranteed to carry. It’s how I got introduced to many of my favorite authors, and even today it’s a favorite way of mine to find new and different voices. So I was absolutely ticked when, in the introduction, the author refers to anthologies as speed-dating with authors! In that case, as this is a set of nineteen short stories spanning the author’s career, this is more like yearly coffee dates perhaps. Each story is preceded by a short introduction that explains what inspired it, as well as content warnings.

“Short stories are dangerous: tiny sparks of pure narrative fire that burn hotter because they snuff out sooner.”


The first story, “As Good as New”, was one of my favorites, telling the story about a woman at the end of the world who discovers a genie in a bottle. But the genie actually used to be a theatre critic and the woman gave up her dreams of being a playwright for pre-med, and anyway, it’s the end of the world, so maybe they should just sit around and binge watch The Facts of Life. It’s the sort of quirky mix of humor and horror that Anders navigates well, and it was the perfect opener for this anthology.

As for stories that didn’t work as well for me, two of the stories, “If You Take My Meaning” and “Clover”, are actually follow-ups to her novels. I found the first a bit hard to get into – it was obvious there was a lot of backstory I was missing – but ultimately enjoyed it, while the second I felt like I never quite got the point of. “Rat Catcher’s Yellows” was interesting, a shorthand version of The Speed of Dark where people with a certain illness retreat into themselves but excel at a complicated kingdom building game, but parts of it scratched me wrong.

“All my life, there had been a giant empty space, a huge existential void, that had needed to be filled by something, and I had never realized that that thing was the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile, with its sleek red hot-dog battering ram surrounded by a metal bun.”


And then you have the stories that appear to be absolutely ridiculous (or just bizarre) fluff that cover a deeper meaning. “Rock Manning Goes for Broke” is about a self-trained stunt guy who does, well, stunts-gone-wrong slapstick videos, and then tries to, you know, speak out against a tyrannical government with one. As one does. “A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime” is along the same vein, two space rogues just trying to make enough money to buy gas by robbing giant sentient divine blobs. (Also as one does?) “Captain Roger in Heaven” somewhat goes along with that vibe, as the initial take is “oops I started a sex cult” but then turns into musing on the calcification of religion.

“Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue” is a complete change of pace from most of the stories, about a forced gender reassignment, and was predictably written in response to, uh, everything about the past four years. It’s a raging, unquiet story, very much unlike the rest of the stories that fool you with quirky characters and then wallop you over the head with the moral. The message, of defiantly holding tight to your self-identity, struck a chord with me, and it’s definitely a story I’ll be thinking about for a long time. “Love Might Be Too Strong a Word” plays with some of the same gender identity issues, but in a much more fanciful way, complete with star-crossed lovers set among the actual stars.

“I’ve got my eye on this one future, this one node way off in the distance, where I die aged 97, surrounded by lovers and grandchildren and cats. Whenever I have a big decision to make, I try to see the straightest path to that moment.”


As a romance lover, “Six Months, Three Days” was a favorite, telling the story of the relationship between a woman who sees all possible futures and a man who sees only the future as it will happen. They’ve both been looking forward to meeting the other for their entire lives, but they also both know that their inevitable breakup will be painful. The emotions – the love, the despair, even the contempt – leapt from the page.

“I think that’s what makes us such good time travelers, actually. [..] We are very experienced at being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and at doing whatever it takes to get ourselves to the right place and the right time.”


But my absolute favorite was “The Time Travel Club.” A recovering alcoholic stays after her meeting and meets a motley group of people, who are all pretending to be time travelers. There’s some fun science, but my favorite part was the assertion that you could be known through the stories you chose to make up as well as you’re known through the ones that are real. They are, in a very real sense, just as true.

“Falling in love with a community is always going to be more real than any love for a single human being could ever be.”


For all the different genres and silliness, most of the stories would be characterized as hopepunk, positivity – or at least, the insistence that things can change – in the face of even a dystopian end of the world. There’s also a large focus on community, on found families and partners and pets (or sentient bicycles), as the antidote for hopelessness and loneliness.

Overall, this collection is an assorted chocolates box of stories, where even if you don’t like one or two flavors, you’re sure to find at least one keeper. Highly recommended!

I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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This is a book of short stories by a very talented and unusual author.  

Many thanks to Netgalley and Tor Books for this advanced readers copy.  This book released November 16, 2021.
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First things first: I love short fiction. There’s something wonderful about reading exquisitely crafted pieces that are not one word longer than they need to be. Maybe it’s 5,000 words, maybe it’s 500 – whatever it takes to tell the tale.

And while short fiction operates in the context of all genres, I’d argue that no genre is better suited for it than speculative fiction; the idea-driven nature of it allows for significant flexibility regarding how the stories are designed to play out.

Now, I’m a fan of anthologies, to be sure – there’s a lot of fun to be had when the works of a score of disparate authors is collected under one figurative roof, after all – but there’s nothing quite like sitting down to read an assemblage of short works by a singe author. You get to see the writer’s stylistic quirks and ideological idiosyncrasies laid out over the course of 10 or 12 or 15 tales, a snapshot of their ethos along with their stylistic strengths.

And in that respect, “Even Greater Mistakes” by Charlie Jane Anders definitely delivers.

The complexity of the concepts explored through the work of Anders makes for thought-provoking reading, to be sure – the author is unafraid to challenge the reader. She is particularly fascinated by the fluidity of gender and the interpersonal dynamics that spring from that fluidity; she also has a knack for finding the (admittedly dry and dark) humor inherent to various flavors of apocalypse. Her ability to wield genre tropes and generalizations in unconventional ways makes every story contained herein an absolute treat.

Take the very first story in the collection, titled “As Good As New.” It’s the story of a young woman who, through pure good fortune of circumstance, survives an apocalyptic event. Upon venturing out of her bunker, she happens upon a bottle – a bottle containing a genie. What follows is a thoughtful and quietly hilarious unpacking of wish logistics and the unanticipated consequences even the best of intentions might carry with them.

Another highlight is the marvelous “Six Months, Three Days,” a story about the perfect couple that also happens to be diametrically opposed. Specifically, Judy is able to look ahead and see all possible futures laid out before her, while Doug is able to view with precision the one and only true future. Sweet and sad and utterly paradoxical, it’s an unusual love story, yes – but it is definitely a love story.

In the collection’s longest work – a novella, really – we have “Rock Manning Goes For Broke.” Now, this story is a lot of things, but basically, imagine if Johnny Knoxville of “Jackass” fame became a favorite filmmaker of the masses in a bleak authoritarian future. The slapstick stunting – inspired by legends like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd – becomes an object of interest to both sides in an ongoing and ever-expanding culture war. A war with brutal societal consequences.

And on and on we go. What if a group of time travel cosplayers stumbled into a situation that involved actual time travel? Check out “The Time Travelers Club.” How about if, in a future, fractured America, a bookstore straddled the unsteady border between two new nations? “The Bookstore at the End of America” lays it out for you. Ever wonder what would happen if a werewolf bit a fairy and a vampire was zombified and then the two fought? Here’s the aptly-titled “Fairy Werewolf vs. Vampire Zombie.”

“Even Greater Mistakes” is an exquisite collection, an assemblage of outstanding short fiction. Anders is a gifted prose stylist, one with a vast imagination to go with her technical craft. The worlds in which these stories operate are rich and vivid, beautifully realized without tiresome minutiae. With just a few sentences, Anders can clearly and concisely convey her vision of place; it’s a rare talent indeed, but one that she with which she is generous.

She’s also unafraid to delve into cultural complexities without handholding. Perhaps the best example is in “Love Might Be Too Strong a Word,” a story set in deep space that nevertheless revolves around the difficulties that can arise when a society’s genders and sexualities are rigidly hierarchized; Anders offers up assorted genders and pronouns without feeling the need to spell it all out for the reader. It’s indicative of a respect both for the reader and for the subject matter.

Of course, while the commitment of Anders to the dissemination of ideas and to thoughtful prose construction is certainly admirable, none of it works unless the stories themselves are compelling. Unsurprisingly, Anders is a hell of a storyteller as well, folding these wonderful concepts and ideological deconstructions into top-notch speculative narratives. Challenging as they may be, these stories are a hell of a good time, propulsive and darkly funny.

“Even Greater Mistakes” is a best-case scenario for a reader such as myself, a wide-ranging collection of stories that are equal parts intellectual stimulation, comedic interlude and rip-roaring yarn. You probably don’t need me to tell you how unusual such a combination is. So if you’re a fan of high-quality speculative short fiction, tuck into some Charlie Jane Anders.

Oh, and if you’ve never experienced her before? You’re welcome.
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"Even Greater Mistakes" is an eclectic collection of short stories by Charlie Jane Anders. Her wry voice shines through in most of the stories, and her deep fantasy world-building dominates much of this collection. Spanning her entire career (thus far), there are a few low-key entries and a few more bombastic, even outrageous, stories (see: "Rock Manning Goes for Broke," a laugh-out-loud journey into adulthood). Some moments are a bit confusing (all the numerous pronouns in one story of engineered species on a generation ship), but others are clear and heartfelt. Most of all, Ms. Anders reaches through our uncertainty of the future by latching on to individuals and their emotions as demonstrated through relationships and a willingness to personal expression, primarily through art or (seemingly omnipresent) sexuality (content warning for, ahem, strange alien sex practices?). In pieces, the individual stories have their merits and varied appeals. Collected, Ms. Anders' stories are just right for a 21st-century commentary on loosening up, letting go, loving who you want, sexing who you want (not necessarily the same people), and expressing your individual place in a world that so often seems to tend toward the strange, oppositional, warped and fractured.
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This is a diverse collection of surprising, quirky, mostly speculative short stories. I admire Charlie Jane Anders’s creativity. The stories were interesting and often amusing, but too often, the endings didn’t work for me. I don’t regret spending time reading these stories, but I didn’t love them as much as I wanted to. Some of the ideas and imagery will stick with me though.

Thanks to Tor Books for providing me with an ARC through NetGalley, which I volunteered to review.
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This is an interesting collection of short fiction. There is creativity and abstract concepts galore in this anthology of science fiction shorts. The length of these shorts do tend to be on the longer side of the concept of "short fiction", but I genuinely didn't mind; they were well written!

The split bookstore was one of my absolute favourites from this collection, and I reread it several times, just because I enjoyed it a lot! 

There's a lot of LGBTQIA+ representation in this anthology, and I love it. I also liked that there was commentary from Anders prefacing each story.

Rating: 3/5
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I very rarely pick up short story collections from a single author and this book was a big reminder to me that I need to do that more! I had read a fair amount of CJA's other works (some of which have stories that relate to them in this collection), but I hadn't ever really taken the chance to explore her short fiction up until this point.
Not only are the stories in this collection amazingly written, but I felt as thought I got a better insight into how Anders writes and the issues and themes about which she cares. I left feeling like I wanted to go back and reread all her other works with all these new insights I have. 
The stories themselves are similar to a lot of Anders' other works, mainly in the fact that they are gloriously LGBTQIA+ and also fantastically weird. I've often said this about The City in the Middle of the Night but would extend it to this whole work : don't read this if you aren't ready for something more than a little surreal. 
I appreciated Anders' commentary that comes before each story, giving that additional insight and background to where the story came from, it again adds to that sense of getting to know an author better. 
I'll definitely be looking out for more of Anders' short fiction in the future. I think if I had to pick a favourite from this collection it would be 'If You Take My Meaning' which adds to the world of City in the Middle of the Night which I now need to go and reread multiple times!
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Thanks to NetGalley and Tor for an ARC.

I've been a fan of Charlie Jane Anders' short fiction for years, and it's great to have all of these stories (some of which I've read in other anthologies before) under one roof, so to speak.  There's a couple themes throughout, and this has that thing I think any short story collection has where some are going to be your thing and others just aren't, but it's a solid collection from one of the best sci-fi short fiction writers working today.
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Thank you so much @tordotcom for this free copy of Even Greater Mistakes!

I love Charlie Jane Anders. I don’t know how to explain what a ray of sunshine she is in the pandemic dampened reality we live in. There’s always kindness, support, a smile, a laugh and an uplifting dance and of course, excellent writing there for you whenever you need it.  

I feel like this anthology of short stories, each introduced with context in how they were inspired and what time in her career they were written, is a most welcome and uplifting escape.

Each story is unique, quirky, imaginative..I can’t even choose a favorite!

It’s really difficult for me to put my feelings on this book into words other than to say: it’s important and it’s amazing just like it’s author.

Additionally, the LGBTQIA+ rep is inspiring. I love when stories have rep and it’s the norm in the world, and the focus of the story is the character development and the storyline. It’s just *chef’s kiss*. 

Most of the stories are based in sci-fi or speculative fiction, but I think there’s a story for everyone and something relatable to enjoy. Even if that’s not your regular genres, it’s well worth a read!
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Charlie Jane Anders' short story collection Even Greater Mistakes is brimming with heart, sometimes even moreso in the stories where characters are callous or cruel. I haven't read Anders before so I was nervous when I didn't connect with the first story As Good As New, then delighted when I fell in love with the second story Rat Catcher's Yellows. Other standouts are Power Couple, Six Months, Three Days, The Last Bookstore in America, and Don't Press Charges and I Won't Sue. I didn't resonate with the stories that were extras from Anders' novels and, very uncharacterically, the fanfiction vampire/wolf/faerie campy romp really didn't do it for me. The baby gay in me was delighted by the mirroring in This Is Why We Can't Have Nasty Things and Because Change Was the Ocean and We Lived by Her Mercy. While there is a lot of violence and pain in the pages, I found it a rather cozy late-pandemic winter read and maybe you will too. Thank you to Netgalley and Tor for the ARC.
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The thing that struck me about Ander’s short story collection, the thing that all the stories had in common, was how imaginative, cleverly crafted and fantastically bizarre they all were.  While I didn’t always connect with each story, some were just not for me, I always admired Anders ability to create characters and world-building that felt fresh and new. 

I also really enjoyed her commentary before each story, telling readers where the story first appeared and a little about her writing inspiration. In her intro Anders talked about how she had over 600 rejections and 93 stories published within the past 10 years. It was in the process of writing these stories that helped her master beginnings and endings, world building  and character creation. 

While I still enjoy Anders novels more than her short stories- I believe her strengths work better in novel form- I’m glad to have read these stories since there were a few standouts for me that I will remember for a long time. 

Here is a brief description of each story and  the individual ratings I gave:

1. 3.5 stars- As Good as New- A playwright  who decides she can make more of a difference in the world as a doctor meets a genie during the apocalypse and must carefully decide her three wishes. Thoughtful-provoking. 

2. 4.5 stars - Red Catcher’s Yellows-Is about a character with dementia who finds a degree control over her life through a cat role playing game and how her partner finds a connection with her through the game, even if it wasn’t what she imagined. Very poignant for me after having a father and father-in-law with dementia. 

3. 3 stars - If You Take My Meaning- Takes place after Ander’s novel The City in the Middle of the Night. You won’t get the full effect without reading the novel first, but you can still understand what is going on. My favorite part? How memories are shared through tentacles.

4. 3.5 stars -Time Travel Club- A unique way to approach time travel-considering displacement of space due to the Earth’s moving orbit so you can’t land in exactly the same place. While I liked the dry humor, there was an abrupt ending and I wanted more development of main character.

5. 4.5 stars-  Six Months, Three Days -One of my favorites of the collection. I love the dilemma of whether it would be better to know one fixed future or be able to see a variety of possible futures and how would you live life differently depending on which type of future you could see. This type of story and its themes are what make me love the sci fi genre! 

6. 3 stars -Love Might be too Strong a Word- Interesting world-building and commentary on gender. Not my favorite plot or characterization.

7. 3 stars- Fairy Werewolf Vs. Vampire  Zombie- Reads like fun, campy, urban fantasy fan fiction. Not really my thing, but it kept me entertained. 

8. 3.5 stars- Ghost Champagne-A woman is haunted by a ghost of herself from the future. Loved the premise, buildup of the character, and the strong ending, but I wanted more of an exploration of the idea of making peace with the past. 

9. 2 stars - My Breath is a Rudder-One of my least favorite in the collection. I liked where the story was going with the theme of repression and the proximity to danger-of how people secretly want to be in close proximity to dangerous behavior or ideas because they can’t explore those things themselves- but the execution wasn’t there for me. Not enough focus and too an abrupt ending.

10. 4 stars- Power Couple -A woman and man agree to go into cryogenic sleep until each finishes their schooling and starts their career. Well-though out commentary on the pressure high paying jobs and how people put their life on hold for a decade only to find out it’s not all they thought it would be. 

11. 4 stars- Rock Manning Goes for Broke - I gave most of these 4 stars to Andres for crafting a highly creative slapstick story with a lot of heart underneath. 

12. 2.5 stars-  Because Change Was the Ocean and We Lived by Her Mercy - A near future story that felt underdeveloped and would have worked better as a longer piece of work.

13. 2  stars - Captain Roger in Heaven -A woman inadvertently starts her own sex cult. Not my type of story, but props for originality. 

14. 3.5 stars - Clover-If you’ve read All The Birds in the Sky, you’ll enjoy learning what happened to Patricia’s cat, Berkeley. If you haven’t read it, it’s still a fun read. 

15. 2 stars- This Is Why We Can’t Have Nasty Things- A seven page story about a group of friends displaced from their usual hangout. It’s about change and the meaning of home, but it was too short for me to make any connection with the characters or care about the plot. 

16. 3.5 stars - A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime  -Creative world building and a zany plot. It felt more like an episode of a larger work, though, than a complete story in itself. 

17. 2.5 stars - Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue- Just ok for me.

18. 5 stars - The Bookstore at the End of America-Of course a story about bookstores is gonna be my favorite! But I also love the discussion of the way books can bridge divides and bring people together in ways other media cannot. 

19. 3 stars -The Visitmothers-A modern day Cinderella-type story that felt like it needed to be fleshed out just a little bit more-but great concept! 

*Thank you to Tor and NetGalley for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review
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