cover image Fat Girl in a Strange Land

Fat Girl in a Strange Land

Edited by Kay T. Holt and Bart R. Leib. Crossed Genres (, $11.95 trade paper (172p) ISBN 978-0-615-56971-0

In Holt’s and Leib’s uneven anthology of 14 stories about overcoming obesity in futuristic settings, fat girls and women learn that sizeism can be literally universal. Sabrina Vourvoulias’s standout opener, “La Gorda and the City of Silver,” tells of a young woman in crime-racked Guatemala who becomes a superhero after a neighborhood tragedy. Lauren Teffeau’s “The Tradeoff” examines the psychological consequences to a scientist and astronaut who must become overweight as a survival mechanism. Bonnie Ferrante’s “Flesh of My Flesh” presents a stark contrast between Earthly attitudes about weight and the “mutualism” of extraterrestrials called Sethians. Alas, the unusual and interesting theme can’t compensate for some flat and predictable stories, and others, such as Jennifer Brozek’s “Sharks & Seals,” end just as they’re getting started. (Feb.)