cover image The Best of Electric Velocipede

The Best of Electric Velocipede

Edited by John Klima. Fairwood, $17.99 trade paper (348p) ISBN 978-1-933846-47-7

Opening with Mark Rich’s “Fling but a Stone,” a pop of excellent, well-realized SF packaged as futuristic economic humor, this anthology of stories published in the offbeat zine Electric Velocipede is more eclectic than electric, running the scales from Alan DeNiro’s grungy dystopia, “A Keeper,” to Liz Williams’s verbose historical, “Indicating the Awakening of Persons Buried Alive,” which barely grazes the fantasy genre. Although many of the stories are fascinating or entertaining, the unstructured collection feels disarrayed, touching on poetry, fairy tales, the disgusting, and the just plain weird in a matter of pages. Some of the stories, like Ken Liu’s “Cutting,” are stunning in their simple elegance, but the powerful and beautiful ones lose their impact when the tone drastically shifts in the following piece, as when moving from Michael Constantine McConnell’s mystical poem, “A Faun’s Lament,” to Damien Angelica Walters’s lovely and haunting “Glass Boxes and Clockwork Gods.” Those who persevere—or prefer to skip around rather than reading straight through—will find plenty of gems worthy of individual consideration. (Nov.)