cover image Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures

Biketopia: Feminist Bicycle Science Fiction Stories in Extreme Futures

Edited by Elly Blue. Microcosm/Blue, $9.95 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-62106-206-6

Blue (Pedal Zombies) continues her series of bicycle-themed science fiction anthologies with this fine work that is focused on but not exclusively about dystopias, women, and bicycles. Many stories contain some hope for the future, whether it is escaping the smothering external control of Big Data and health insurers in Gretchin Lair’s “Signal Lost” or just surviving another day in the zombie apocalypse in “Day 3658” by Dylan Siegler. Blue’s own “Portlandtown” envisions a postmale world where matriarchies with different ideologies clash in a resource-strapped future. Cynthia Marts conceives perhaps the most painful story, “Shelter,” in which a misogynistic patriarchy controls nearly every aspect of women’s lives. In all of these and others, bicycles give women a means of escape and a modicum of control. Grim stories are made bearable by lighter-weight pieces such as the graphic short “Meet Cute” by Maddy Spencer and “Maaike’s Aquatic Center for Bicycles Raised by Fishes” by Jessie Kwak. The final book and television reviews feel superfluous, but otherwise this is a deeply moving and powerful anthology. (Aug.) Correction: A previous version of this review listed the incorrect title of the editor's previous book. This review has also been updated with new pricing and page count information.