Haunted Futures

Edited by Salomé Jones. Ghostwoods, $14.99 trade paper (264p) ISBN 978-0-9576271-8-5
Jones has compiled a fascinating collection of 15 stories that explore the connections between the living and the dead. The portrayals of both near and distant futures show a wide variety of focuses, such as using technology to communicate with the dead (as in Warren Ellis’s “Ghostmakers” and Tricia Sullivan’s “The Psychometry of Tuvan Currency”) or grappling with the emotional reverberations of someone’s death or disappearance. The most touching stories bookend the collection: in Felicity Shoulder’s “You’re Welcome,” an empty-nester couple try to piece together their college-aged daughter’s disappearance from her online orders, and in Jeff Noon’s “Mercury Teardrops,” a musician attempts to come to terms with his cyborg girlfriend’s death. Contemporary social issues are also tackled, as in the outstanding “Split Shadow” by S.L. Huang, an essential portrayal of mental health attitudes and treatment. There is an entry for every speculative genre, including space exploration (Gethin A. Lynes’s “Remember the Sky”), Lovecraftian horror (Lynnea Glasser’s “Guardian of the Gate”), and postapocalyptic feminism (Pete Rawlik’s “Retirement Plan”), and each story lives up to or exceeds its genre’s expectations. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/27/2017
Release date: 05/02/2017
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