cover image The Light Between Stars

The Light Between Stars

Edited by Catherine Fitzsimmons. Brain Lag, $14.99 trade paper (210p) ISBN 978-1-928011-35-4

Fitzsimmons (the Sisters of Chaos trilogy) brings together 10 rewarding, original science fiction tales from authors who have all been previously published by Brain Lag in a celebration of the press’s 10-year anniversary. The tales vary widely in tone and theme, but all are well-crafted and attention-grabbing. Stephen B. Pearl’s breathless, post-apocalyptic “Tinker’s Toxin” follows a science-minded “tinker” contending with a vicious 21st-century curse: chemical waste. Pain and pathos reign in Simon A.G. Spencer’s “Awakening,” about family members on a generation ship who awaken from cryogenic sleep years apart. Erynn Q. delivers a lighthearted romp with the whimsical “Other London: Ella’s Birthday,” about a magic-wielding repairman trying to solve the knotty quandary of securing a teenager’s birthday presents. In Gary Girod’s fun “The Coward and the Thief in Paradise,” a young woman living in an authoritarian hell must rely on supernatural powers she’s not sure she believes in to escape. Anyone with an interest in independent speculative fiction will find this anthology an excellent place to start. (July)