Rating: 5/5 Breathtaking Repercussions
Give me the short version: Tired of the same old from your science fiction? Looking for the next read that’ll remind you how it feels to be alive?
Back in the good old university days one of the authors published in Meanwhile, Elsewhere used to boggle my mind and pith my nightmares with her tales, so I was lucky enough to nab an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
Like all anthologies there were a couple of stories that brought neither highs nor lows and a bunch I absolutely loved, and that had me scrambling to buy more more more from their authors. With Meanwhile, Elsewhere being such a wonderfully chunky publication (twenty-five tales) there’s something for everybody.
A few I really enjoyed included the intriguing possibilities and cruel legal tangles of Calvin Gimpelevich’s body-swapping Rent, Don’t Sell; the brutal compassion and street justice of Paige Bryony’s voyeuristic Control Shift Down; and the quiet lonely worry of space travel that Sadie Avery painted in Using a Treadmill You Can Run Until Exhaustion Without Moving.
Collette Arrand’s dreamy stylised island quarantine of Themyscira is a good one to have a pause and a quiet think after; the crazy high-octane trash-cyberpunk of Sybil Lamb’s Cybervania was a personal, personal favourite; and of course the frail beauty and sweet mournful introspection of Tristan Alice Nieto’s lovely resurrectionist piece Imago.
My favourite bit:
“Far from the fairytale meeting of love across distant realms, it was usually a confused and perverse confrontation as people tried in vain to locate a tiny fragment of the person they once knew within the talking pile of human remains that wore their lover’s skin.”
– Imago, Tristan Alice Nieto.