cover image Anthems Outside of Time and Other Strange Voices

Anthems Outside of Time and Other Strange Voices

Kenneth Schneyer. Fairwood, $18.99 trade paper (372p) ISBN 978-1-933846-92-7

Schneyer (The Law & the Heart: Stories to Bend the Mind & Soul) dazzles with this striking collection of 27 wide-ranging speculative stories. In the emotional “Keeping Tabs,” domestic abuse survivor Dorothy gets a direct line to her favorite actor, Pearl Mouton, through an implant that allows her to tune in to the star’s experiences. When the “tab” malfunctions, she witnesses Pearl’s husband abusing her and is determined to help her escape. The intimate “Dispersion” is the unsettling story of a daughter discovering that insects can voice the thoughts that her mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, can no longer remember. “The Plausibility of Dragons” sends Malik, an itinerant Moorish teacher, and Fara of Hallstatt, a female knight, on a quest to kill a dragon. Toddlers carrying deadly diseases are used as instruments of war in the chilling “The Last Bombardment.” And in the satirical “Life of the Author Plus Seventy,” writer Eric Weiss cryogenically freezes himself to avoid paying a ballooning library fine in the year 2107. Each world is distinct and fully realized, and the astonishing variety of genre and tone on offer showcases Schneyer’s versatility. Inventive and resonant, this collection is sure to impress. (July)