cover image Speculative Los Angeles

Speculative Los Angeles

Edited by Denise Hamilton. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-61775-856-0

Hamilton (Los Angeles Noir, ed.) brings together 14 outstanding stories of weird and uncanny happenings in the City of Angels. Francesca Lia Block showcases her expertise at infusing speculative fiction with strong L.A. flavor in the retro “Purple Panic,” about what it means to return home to the people and places one has left behind. S. Qiouyi Lu explores love and abandonment in “Where There Are Cities, These Dissolve, Too,” set in a cyberpunk future where the Chinese Exclusion Act has been reinstated. Present-day atrocities are given a terrifying, supernatural spin in Alex Espinoza’s “Detainment,” an updated changeling tale about children being swapped with inhuman copies when rescued from immigration custody, and “Peak TV” by Ben H. Winters, in which a television producer is forced to reckon with the tragic results of his series. Each story presents a fresh take on the magic and strangeness of L.A. past, present, and future, and the characters are representative of the diverse region, caught in situations ranging from surreal to chilling. Readers should snap this up. Agent: Anne Borchardt, Georges Borchardt, Inc. (Feb.)