cover image Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies

Cosmic Powers: The Saga Anthology of Far-Away Galaxies

Edited by John Joseph Adams. Saga, $16.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-4814-3501-7

Designed to capture the cosmic scale of superpowered space comics in prose, this collection lands the cosmic element, though it’s hit-or-miss with the grandiosity. “The Deckhand, the Nova Blade, and the Thrice-Sung Texts” by Becky Chambers nails the superheroic style in a chosen-one-against-impossible-odds tale told in the form of journal entries; in Seanan McGuire’s “Bring the Kids and Revisit the Past at the Traveling Retro Funfair!,” a case of mistaken identity leads to a delightful adventure. By contrast, Linda Nagata’s “Diamond and the World Breaker” is a relatively quiet tale whose high stakes take a backseat to the core story of a mother risking everything to put her daughter first. In “Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World” by Caroline M. Yoachim, the scope of the cosmos is the entire point, with the story broadening immeasurably and the stakes entirely internal. The deliciously enthralling “The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun” by Aliette de Bodard is about the stories we tell ourselves, and crosses cultures, traditions, and mythology with life in a galactic empire. The varying styles make this anthology pleasant to read, if thematically inconsistent. (Apr.)