cover image Hold Your Fire

Hold Your Fire

Edited by Lisa Mangum. WordFire, $24.99 (258p) ISBN 978-1-68057-176-9

Mangum (Dragon Writers: An Anthology, ed.) brings together 19 solid short stories for an anthology exploring the eureka moment of artistic and scientific inspiration. “The Door” by Kristen Bickerstaff extols the magic of a child’s imagination, while Alicia Cay reimagines Sherlock Holmes’s boyhood in “The First Problem” to show how patience and observation ignite a passion for investigation. With “White Sails and Rough Seas,” M. Elizabeth Ticknor and Rebecca E. Treasure emphasize the need to listen with one’s heart as well as one’s head when problem solving. But Kitty Sarkozy shows the flip side of this in “Dream Girl,” in which living too completely in imagination causes deadly harm. And “The Last Waking Princess” by Kat Kellermeyer asserts that love is a kind of magic. Though none of the stories are standouts, there are no flops either. The subjects run the gamut from music and literature to space exploration, but all highlight the human desire to grow and create. Readers looking for short bursts of inspiration will be pleased. (Feb.)