Fantastic Hope

Edited by Laurell K. Hamilton and William McCaskey. Berkley, $17 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-593-09920-9
“You’re holding hope in your hands,” Hamilton writes in the foreword to this sweet escapist speculative anthology, which exclusively features tales with happy endings. This upbeat ethos is perhaps best demonstrated in Larry Correia’s “Mr. Positive, the Eternal Optimist,” a joyride of a story that manages to put a cheerful spin on a violent mugging. Kevin J. Anderson’s fan-favorite zombie PI Dan Shamble returns in “Heart of Clay,” a delightfully fanciful detective story that sees the peaceful coexistence of zombies, ghosts, and golems. “Not in This Lifetime” by Sharon Shinn follows a reincarnating pair of female friends, a breath of fresh air in this otherwise disappointingly male-centric book. Weaker tales include John G. Hartness’s “Reprise”—featuring his recurring character Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter—and Robert E. Hampson’s “In the Dust,” both of which entertain but are too formulaic. The hard-earned happy ending of Kacey Ezell’s thoughtful “No Greater Love” actually comes as something of a relief given the easy joy that precedes and follows it. Though the one-note optimism is best in small doses, this heartwarming anthology offers a temporary reprieve from reality. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 04/07/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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